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Dangers of Summer Driving

Summer driving is dangerous? It’s not what we’d expect. After the days of cold and inclement  weather we had last winter, it seemed like dangerous driving conditions were behind us.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, July 2012 had 3,126 motor vehicle crashes involving fataltities, the highest number of fatal car accidents of any month during that year.  August and June ranked second and third, each with 3,000 fatal accidents.

What makes summer driving so dangerous? According to Esurance, it's more people on the roads. Commuters are suddenly sharing the road with vacation-bound motorists, less-experienced teen drivers and bicycle and motorcycle riders. Go Smart and drive safely this summer! Learn more about the Dangers of Summer Driving at http://www.esurance.com/driving-tips/summer-driving.

Summer Driving Tips

Summer brings sun, fun and increased recreational driving.  Be certain your vehicle is ready for warm weather:

  • Check the level and strength of the coolant. 

A low coolant level may allow your engine to overheat.

  • Check the air conditioner.

Make certain the air conditioner blows cold air.  If not, the refrigerant charge may be low.   Check the system for leaks before adding refrigerant.

  • Check the age of your battery.

Most car batteries last 4 or 5 years.  Hot weather is actually harder on batteries than cold because it increases the evaporation of liquid electrolyte inside the battery. (This does not apply to gel type batteries.)

  • Change the oil.

An oil change increases the lubrication protection for your engine.  A heavier viscosity motor oil during the hot weather is especially good for older high mileage engines.

  • Replace windshield wipers.

Natural rubber wiper blades last one year or less.  Sun, extreme heat and cold accelerate their aging.  If wipers streak or smear, it’s time to replace them.

  • Check your tires.

Check tire pressure. Under-inflation makes tires run hot and increases risk of a blowout. 

  • Wax your car.

Waxing your car helps shield its paint from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

  • Keep cool.

A sun shade for the windshield reflects light so the vehicle’s interior doesn’t get as hot when parked in direct sunlight.  Leaving windows cracked open lightens the cooling load on the air conditioner when first starting the vehicle and helps prevent getting a hot seat or burning yourself on hot interior surfaces.