The summer brings more humidity, beach days, and vacations.  Yet with all those activities, there are also more car insurance claims and vehicle damages. Enjoy your summer fun: go swimming, build a sandcastle, and savor an ice cream cone. Just watch out for these common driving hazards.

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Typical Hazards:

1. Construction

Summer often feels like the season of construction. Not only are there plenty of potholes to be filled from the winter months, but there are also a lot of road repairs, buildings, and homes being constructed. That means leftover debris may still be on the road, ready to dent your windshield or your car. Do the best you can to be aware and drive safe. Also, be sure to slow down around construction zones as the majority of work zone injuries and fatalities occur in the summer and fall months.

2. Tire Blowouts

You’ve probably seen a couple cars on the side of the road this summer. Tire blowouts increase in frequency during the summer months for a variety of reasons. Underinflated tires result in too much friction, causing the tire composites to overheat more easily. The construction mentioned above can also have an impact on road conditions, as can speed bumps, curbs, and potholes. Check your tire pressure often in the summer months and all year long. Be sure to look for any damage to your tires.

3. Increased Road Travel

Traveling more frequently can also lead to more hazards. Everyone’s out on the road and as a result, there’s more stop-and-go traffic as well as an increase in distracted drivers. Be aware and focus on driving safe.

4. More Cyclists, More Motorcycles

With warmer weather, the bikers are out. You’ll likely see more motorcycles out on the highways and cyclists on the roads. Check twice when switching lanes and be aware of your car’s blind spots to avoid any dangerous run-ins.

5. Overheating and Dehydration

With all that heat, not only can your car’s engine overheat, but so can you! If you notice your engine temperature is growing too hot, pull over and turn off the vehicle. As for yourself, always stay hydrated and try to keep your vehicle cool with AC or open windows.

6. Young Drivers

During the summer months, teenage drivers are out of school and on the roads. They may be new, inexperienced drivers who are also distracted by the summer weather. Try to do your part to stay focused and watch out for possible collisions.

7. Heavy Rainfall / Glaring Sun

Weather conditions provide another hazard. While it may not be as bad as “thunder snow” or winter hail, summer weather can be trickier than expected. If you live an area that receives heavy summer rain, be careful. Flash flooding and rain on top of dry conditions can cause visibility issues and hydroplaning. And don’t underestimate that glaring morning or midday sun.

8. Animals and Children

Of course, they’re two separate groups but they can often be combined when speaking about their unpredictable nature. Many children are outside playing during the summer months and may decide to run into the road. It’s a good idea to slow down in populated areas and watch for kids playing. Taking an extra thirty seconds to get where you’re going can help save a life. Also watch out for animals, as a driver swerving can easily result in a hazardous pile-up.

9. Don’t Drive Drowsy

Long summer days and late nights can lead to drowsiness. Just don’t let the tiredness hit you behind the wheel. Stay alert and focused even on those seasonal nights. The summer won’t last forever!

Despite all the wonderful upsides of summer, there are some driving dangers out there that come along with the season. Preparedness can go a long way when it comes to driving and preventing collisions. Keep these hazards in mind while you’re on the road and enjoy the glorious dog days of summer.

Photo Credit (top image): Ryan McKnight, Joe Shlabotnik, David Stanley