During the summer, there are two additional hazards in the roads: more vehicles on the roads and more pedestrians. This creates the risk of car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Quite simply, once the weather gets nice, many people take the opportunity to go for a drive. Teens out of school for the summer take to the streets in their cars and many children are ferried to and from summer activities by busy parents. At the same time, children and entire families enjoy the beautiful weather on foot or bicycle, bicycling along streets or talking long, leisurely walks. Even with more vehicles and pedestrians, you can stay safe this summer. Start by:
1) Accounting for sun driving conditions. In the summer, you need to be aware of some weather conditions. For example, bright sunlight and glare can distract you and can blind you to obstacles on the road. Keep a spare set of sunglasses or clip-ons (if you wear glasses) in your glove compartment for bright days and make sure to use your visors as needed.
2) Keeping your cool. Warm weather can be its own distraction, and can even make you sleepy, which is a danger when you are driving. Getting dehydrated or overly warm can also cause heatstroke or sunstroke, two conditions which can leave you unable to drive and can even cause dizzy spells or fainting. When driving, use air conditioner or keep windows open. Use a cover, if you need it, to keep your steering wheel cool (so that you can grip it firmly and maintain good control of your vehicle). Finally, always have water on hand and keep yourself well hydrated by taking sips when you are pulled over.
3) Taking note of high-risk areas along your regular routes. Camp areas and parks with street parking can be dangerous areas, since children can dart out suddenly from these spots. Swimming pools and crossing areas for walking and biking trails are also spots where there are more pedestrians. Stay extra alert in these areas – young pedestrians may not look first before darting across a street. You can often prevent a bicycle accident or another collision just by knowing where to look twice.
4) Staying focused. Talking on your cell phone or texting while driving are very dangerous activities at any time of year. In the summer, however, when more children or pedestrians are around, distracted driving can even more easily become deadly.
5) Avoid drinking. By now, just about everyone knows that drunk driving accidents cause senseless deaths and injuries each year. However, people continue to drive drunk, and summer holidays are a time when many drunk driving accidents happen. There are more temptations in the summer – outdoor events with beer tents or barbeques where drinks are served. As well, hot weather and dehydration can mean that even one alcoholic drink makes you woozy and unfocused. It’s best to have a simple rule year-round when it comes to alcohol: don’t drive, even on just one drink.