6 Summer Driving Tips That Will Keep You Safe

summer driving tips

Statistics show summer is the most dangerous time to drive in the U.S.

Isn’t that weird? Most people worry about ice and snow in winter. They don’t even think about summer!

For safe travels, follow these six summer driving tips (every parent needs to see #4!).

1. Inspect your tires.

Heat causes your tires to deflate. Check their inflation to be safe. Also look for visible signs of damage. This is a must-do before any road trip. If you have any doubts about the condition of your tires, get a second opinion from a mechanic.

2. Look both ways.

School’s out for summer! That means more teens will be on the road.

Teen drivers cause more traffic accidents than any other age group. Don’t assume these teens will follow the rules of the road.

Look both ways before you drive through a traffic light (yes, even if it’s green). Put down the phone and keep your eyes on the road so you can react quickly and decisively. If there’s a new teen driver in your family, you might enjoy these posts:

3. Check your coolant.

Hot temperatures can cause your engine to overheat. If that happens, pull over immediately. Pop open your hood and make sure your coolant tank is filled up. No? Either go to a mechanic or top it off yourself. If your engine overheats again, that could mean you have a leak.

4. Be mindful of your child.

Every parent is familiar with the nightmare of forgetting about the baby in the backseat. This isn’t very common, but it does happen. Roughly 37 babies and toddlers die in hot cars every year. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re busy. Here’s a tip. Every time you travel with a child, put a toy or stuffed animal in the passenger seat. That should jog your memory!

5. Take lots of mini-breaks on long trips.

There is nothing “tough” about driving across the country without stopping. Pull over every two or three hours to prevent fatigue. Take a walk and stretch out anything that’s stiff. One more tip: take a water bottle so you can stay hydrated. Fill it up every time you stop at a rest area.

6. Give bikes and motorcycles plenty of space.

Warm weather means more cyclists will be on the road. Be considerate of these folks. They aren’t surrounded by a protective interior like you. If they got in a wreck, it could end very badly. Increase your following distance to four seconds or more.

Talk to me.

Do you have any summer driving tips that you would add to this list? If so, let me know! Click here to share these tips with your friends so they can have a safe summer like you.

Baby + Funeral… 2 Words That Should Never Go Together

Featured Image -- 1862Do I have your attention? I hope so. This post will be a little different than our usual car care posts. This one will not be funny, sassy or light. There is no humor, no sarcasm or levity when it comes to babies dying from heat strokes in cars. There is only tragedy, devastation and the heart wrenching question: WHY?

July 31, 2014 is National Heat Stroke Prevention Day

Why are some children buckled and strapped securely in their safety seats, usually by the loving hands of parents and caregivers, only to be overlooked, unintentionally forgotten or unfortunately, even deliberately left unattended in hot cars?  I won’t pretend to know, or even claim that I have the beginning of an answer.

I count myself fortunate that I don’t lie awake at night asking myself that question, “Why?” I am grateful that I don’t live in a constant state of guilt, regret, confusion and incomprehension wrapped in unbearable grief. I am one of the lucky parents who although I have left my groceries, purse, phone and even keys in the car for hours on end, have never left my child.

Although some children are left on purpose, by people who plan to run errands, get their hair done, or gamble “for just a few minutes,” the majority of children who die in hot cars are left in them entirely by accident. To me, this type of tragedy is like a tornado. There is no rhyme or reason – it destroys some homes and leaves others completely untouched. My children and I are among the “untouched,” here to live another day.

In an effort to raise awareness and help save these most innocent and helpless of lives, Women Auto Know is dedicating this blog and all social media posts today to National Heat Stroke Prevention Day.

Throughout the next few days, WAK will be providing:

  • Some hard statistics on deaths
  • Information about the dangers of car temperatures
  • Tips on how to prevent this
  • Resources for those grieving from this type of loss
  • A platform for a continuing conversation about this here in our comments section, and through Facebook and Twitter

In closing, we ask that you keep your comments aligned with our mission to empower and educate. We welcome your personal experiences, your stories, and most importantly, your solutions to situations that could endanger children in cars, whether they are heat stroke related or not.

Please take advantage of the resources we provide and continue this conversation through social media and in person. Encourage your friends and family members to Join the Women Auto Know community for FREE, so that they can stay informed, educated and empowered on this and all other automotive topics.

Join our mission, our site and this conversation and save the life of a child!

Mechanically Yours,

Audra and the WAK Team

 

Organizations that advocate for automotive awareness and safety:

Kids ad Cars

NHTSA

The Center for Auto Safety

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety

www.SaferCar.gov

www.Safe Kids.org

Support for those who have lost a child to automobile related heat stroke:

Kids and Cars

Take Action!

Sign the petition to make leaving a child unattended in a vehicle ILLEGAL in all 50 states!