Let’s face it, many of us have been itching to get out of the house since the start of the pandemic; and with many travel restrictions lifted, you may be planning a summer road trip! However, as excited as we may be to put the pedal to the metal, it’s still important that we practice safe driving. While there may be more apparent dangers when traveling in the winter compared to the summer (e.g., blizzards, black ice, hail, freezing rain) it’s still important to take extra caution when traveling on the road during the warmer months. So, whether you’re traveling with friends or family, check out our tips for how you can stay safe on the road this summer.
The last thing anyone needs is for their car to break down in the middle of the road. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your car is up to date with its maintenance. Things to consider include:
- Ensuring that you’ve switched from winter tires to all-seasons/all-weather tires
- Preforming an oil change
- Changing your air filters
- Rotating your tires
- For a full car maintenance checklist, check out this article here by Bridgestone Tires.
Slow it Down
As much as you might be tempted to kick it up and go a little faster, do yourself a favour and play it safe. Give yourself extra time, obey the speed limit and drive according to road conditions. During busy periods, plan accordingly for traffic, road closures and local disruptions so that you aren’t rushing to your destination. Festivals, sporting events and parades can wreak havoc with traffic, so extra care at this time is necessary.
Watch for Animals on the Road
You’re not the only one ready to hit the road this summer, many animals may also be roaming the streets as well. Pay considerable attention when driving at night (especially if you are venturing away from an urban area), as some animals may be harder to spot. If you plan on driving at night, we’ve provided some tips here. We’ve also provided tips on what to do in the event of a collision with an animal. Reading up on these materials prior to your departure may make for a safer ride for all.
As appealing as it may be to drive with the windows down and blaring music, texting your friends wondering “what the next move is,” it’s important that you remain focused on the road. That means no texting, eating, drinking, or applying makeup while driving and limiting the use of the infotainment system. There is no excuse, distracted driving affects us all. So be sure to keep that in mind the next time you’re on the road.
Don’t Drink and Drive
As often as it’s been communicated, it’s still an important thing to keep in mind – do not drive while under the influence. This is not limited to alcohol, as marijuana can also impair drivers as well. If you have consumed any drugs or alcohol, be sure to make arrangements to ensure that you don’t drive. This can include establishing a reliable designated driver who will not be consuming any substances while out, ordering an Uber or Lyft, spending the night at your friend’s, taking public transportation, or calling someone you know to pick you up. Be sure to plan your night accordingly.
In any case, summer is a great time to relax with friends and family – so enjoy the season safely, keep distractions to a minimum (yes, including electronics) and keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Most of all – have fun!