9+ Essential Summer Driving Tips to Avoid Car Accidents and Delays

9+ Essential Summer Driving Tips to Avoid Car Accidents and Delays

9+ Essential Summer Driving Tips to Avoid Car Accidents and Delays

As the summer season emerges, the cities are coming back to life, and the allure of the open road beckons.

Georgia offers a myriad of captivating destinations for day trips and weekend getaways, be it the mountains, the beaches, charming gardens, or inspiring galleries.

However, embarking on the highway during what's known as the "100 deadliest days of summer" is a journey frequently taken by many.

To ensure that your summer road trip is nothing short of spectacular, we present you with a set of ten indispensable summer driving tips.

1. Prioritize Routine Vehicle Maintenance

Embarking on a summer road trip necessitates a vehicle in optimal condition.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and AAA both advise a comprehensive maintenance check-up before hitting the highway. To prevent breakdowns and the potential for catastrophic accidents, it is essential to get your car serviced.

If you lack knowledge about your vehicle's maintenance history or if it hasn't received service recently, schedule an appointment with your mechanic without delay. Your "pre-trip automobile checklist" should encompass various key elements such as:

  • Assessing the air conditioning and air filter
  • Verifying the condition of brakes and tires
  • Checking the battery, with many auto parts stores offering free battery checks
  • Ensuring the proper levels of essential fluids, including engine oil, transmission, brake, and power steering fluids
  • Inspecting wiper blades and windshield cleaning fluid
  • Examining the integrity of belts and hoses

2. Thoroughly Inspect Your Tires

Of all the summer driving tips, this one stands out as crucial. Tire health is paramount for road safety, and tire blowouts are more prevalent in hot weather

If you acquired a used vehicle, you may not be privy to your tires' actual age or potential manufacturer recalls.

For a wealth of information on buying, maintaining, and understanding tires, including aging, fuel efficiency, and tire retailers, consult the NHTSA's Tire Wise PDF.

Additionally, all vehicles manufactured in 2008 and onwards feature a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in each tire, thanks to the TREAD Act. Nevertheless, relying solely on the TPMS light for tire pressure checks is inadvisable, as it may lead to costly sensor replacements.

3. Evaluate the Option of Renting a Car

If your personal vehicle necessitates extensive and costly repairs like new tires or brakes, renting a vehicle for your road trip could be a more economical and safer alternative.

Moreover, if your daily driver boasts poor gas mileage, renting a more fuel-efficient vehicle may yield substantial savings. A classic example is swapping an older SUV, averaging 12 miles per gallon, for a compact sedan that achieves nearly 40 miles per gallon.

The fuel savings can often offset the cost of the rental and potentially save you even more. To make an informed choice, consider using Frugal Fringe's Road Trip calculator for calculations.

4. Prepare for Unpredictable Weather

Given the ever-changing weather patterns, being prepared for anything is paramount. Georgia, as a coastal state, is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes forming in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico.

Before embarking on your grand adventure, ensure you stay informed about road conditions and traffic updates to facilitate a smooth journey. Remember, foresight and planning are key to a successful trip.

5. Hydration is Essential

Staying hydrated is a critical factor, whether you're driving in an air-conditioned vehicle or basking in the sun's rays.

Proper hydration plays a significant role in combating fatigue, as emphasized by Harvard Health. Never compromise on hydration to avoid restroom breaks during road trips.

Plan to stop every two hours to provide you and your fellow travelers the opportunity to stretch and take bathroom breaks.

Distributing water bottles and encouraging consumption 30-45 minutes before planned stops can be a practical strategy.

Keep in mind the needs of all passengers, including children and the elderly, who may require gentle reminders to stay hydrated.

6. Exercise Caution with Speed

Allow yourself ample time to reach your destination. Exceeding speed limits reduces your ability to brake and increases the risk of causing an accident.

If traveling in a group of vehicles, be prepared for potential separation. Avoid aggressive driving maneuvers like unsafe passing and rushing through intersections to stay together.

It's important to note that Georgia's courts have discretion in determining fines for speeding offenses.

7. Assemble a Roadside Emergency Kit

Before setting out on your summer road trip, prepare a comprehensive emergency kit, which includes essential supplies for unforeseen situations and extreme summer weather conditions such as heavy rain.

Ranging from a basic first aid kit to tools for addressing roadside emergencies, a well-organized kit can prevent minor inconveniences from escalating into major complications.

8. Stay Alert to Motorcycles

The period from May to October corresponds to the peak motorcycle riding season, and more than 70% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur during this time frame.

Awareness of your vehicle's blind spots, vigilant mirror and shoulder checks before changing lanes or making turns, and consistent use of your turn signals can significantly reduce the risk of colliding with a motorcycle.

9. Avoid Driving When Fatigued

Operating a motor vehicle while drowsy or tired is as perilous as driving under the influence. Drowsy driving can impair your driving abilities to a degree comparable to that of drunk driving.

The NHTSA reported that in 2017, drowsy driving contributed to at least 91,000 accidents, resulting in over 50,000 injuries and 800 fatalities. Stay vigilant and well-rested on the road.

10. Minimize Distractions

While on the road with your family, you'll encounter different distractions compared to your routine daily commute.

When you're at the wheel, avoid distractions such as programming GPS navigation, adjusting music selections, or placing food orders, among other potential diversions.

In the unfortunate event of a car or truck accident this summer, remember that The Graham Firm is there to provide assistance.

As summer transitions into autumn, countless Georgians embark on their annual road trips. Whether you're heading out for a brief day excursion, visiting relatives upstate, or running errands in your local area, it's undeniable that these are some of the riskiest days for drivers.

But, with due diligence and the application of our ten summer driving tips, you can ensure your safety behind the wheel during one of Georgia's deadliest driving seasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are essential summer driving tips to avoid car accidents and delays?

Answer: Essential summer driving tips to prevent car accidents and delays include maintaining your vehicle, checking your tires, staying alert, being prepared for unexpected weather, staying hydrated, and avoiding distractions while driving.

2. Why is vehicle maintenance crucial during the summer?

Answer: Routine vehicle maintenance before summer road trips is vital to prevent breakdowns and potential accidents. Well-maintained vehicles are less likely to encounter problems on the road, ensuring a safer journey.

3. What should I check during my vehicle maintenance routine?

Answer: Your pre-trip automobile checklist should include inspecting air conditioning, brakes, tires, battery, fluids (engine oil, transmission, brake, and power steering), wiper blades, and belts and hoses.

4. Why is tire inspection important during the summer?

Answer: Checking your tires is crucial because tire blowouts are more common in hot weather. Proper tire maintenance can prevent accidents and delays caused by flat tires.

5. How can I determine the age and safety of my tires?

Answer: You can check your tire's age and safety by consulting your vehicle's manual, visiting a tire shop, and searching for information about your specific tire model and manufacturer.

6. Is renting a car a better option than using my own vehicle for a summer road trip?

Answer: Renting a car may be more cost-effective and safer if your vehicle requires extensive repairs or has poor gas mileage. Renting a more fuel-efficient car can result in fuel savings that may offset the rental cost.

7. What should I consider when planning for unexpected weather during summer road trips?

Answer: Being prepared for unpredictable summer weather in a coastal state like Georgia involves checking road conditions and traffic updates before starting your journey. Preparedness is key to avoiding delays.

8. Why is staying hydrated while driving essential?

Answer: Hydration is crucial in fighting fatigue, a major contributor to accidents. Plan regular stops every two hours for hydration and stretching to stay alert on the road.

9. How should I deal with aggressive driving and speeding?

Answer: Avoid aggressive driving maneuvers and adhere to speed limits. Speeding reduces your ability to stop quickly and increases the likelihood of causing accidents.

10. What should I include in a roadside emergency kit for summer road trips?

Answer: A comprehensive roadside emergency kit should include first aid supplies, tools for minor repairs, emergency contact information, and supplies for extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain.

11. Why is it important to be cautious about motorcycles during the summer?

Answer: Over 70% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur between May and October. Staying aware of motorcycles, checking blind spots, and using turn signals can reduce the risk of accidents.

12. How does drowsy driving affect safety during summer road trips?

Answer: Drowsy driving impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely and can lead to accidents. It has similar effects to drunk driving, making it a significant risk on the road.

13. What distractions should I avoid while driving during the summer?

Answer: Distractions to avoid while driving include programming GPS, adjusting music, using a smartphone, and other activities that divert your attention from the road.

14. How can I prepare my vehicle for summer road trips to ensure safety and avoid delays?

Answer: Prepare your vehicle by conducting a thorough maintenance check, checking your tires, and having an emergency kit ready. These steps will enhance safety and reduce the likelihood of delays.

15. What resources can help me assess the condition of my tires before a summer road trip?

Answer: You can consult your vehicle's manual, visit a tire shop for inspection, and look up your specific tire model and manufacturer for information.

16. Are there any specific safety measures to consider when driving during a summer storm?

Answer: When driving in summer storms, reduce your speed, maintain a safe following distance, and use headlights. Be cautious of wet and slippery roads to prevent accidents.

17. How often should I check my vehicle's essential fluids for a summer road trip?

Answer: Before a summer road trip, check your vehicle's essential fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. It's recommended to do this during routine maintenance.

18. What steps can I take to avoid drowsy driving during long summer road trips?

Answer: To avoid drowsy driving, get adequate rest before your journey, take regular breaks every two hours, and switch drivers if possible. Avoid driving during your usual sleep hours.

19. What should be in a basic roadside emergency kit for summer road trips?

Answer: A basic roadside emergency kit should include first aid supplies, jumper cables, a flashlight, tools for minor repairs, a phone charger, and water and non-perishable snacks.

20. How can I stay focused and avoid distractions when driving with my family during summer road trips?

Answer: To stay focused, set up navigation and entertainment options before driving, and encourage your passengers to help with tasks like selecting music and snacks to minimize distractions while on the road.