Call today for a consultation


Legal Blog

How can Motorists Stay Safe in the Summer Months?

Published: Jul 26, 2021 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury

Most people believe that winter driving is the most dangerous due to weather, road conditions, holiday travel, and other hazards, however, summertime is just as dangerous for drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that car accident fatalities are higher in the summer months, particularly in June, July, and August.

Staying safe while driving in the summertime means being alert and following all of the rules of the road. Summer is also the time for families to travel for vacation, and children want to play outdoors now that school is done. Many individuals want to visit their hometowns, lakes, beaches, parks, and other sites of interest. Day trips in the summer can begin before 6:00 a.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. or later. This extended daylight period is also when children can play outdoors or at parks or recreational spaces. It also means that more vehicles will be on the streets.

With more people on the roads, driving can be dangerous, especially now that Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are lifting. Relaxed rules on face masks and social distancing motivates people to go outside and travel. Listed below are important summer safety tips for all drivers.

Car Maintenance

Cars are machines that require careful attention before the engine even starts. In the summer, a car has specific needs. Check the tires for inflation levels and wear. Hot weather can negatively impact improperly inflated tires. Leftover potholes from the winter can become craters, which can damage tires, even those in good condition. Cars also run hotter in the summer, and proper fluid levels in the radiator and other engine parts will keep the car running properly.

Inside the car, air conditioning can be critical. Since running the air conditioning can drain the car battery, check the battery for its age. Batteries lose power over time.

Summer can also mean sudden thunderstorms. Make sure the windshield wipers are clean and have their edge. No one needs a non-functioning wiper on the windshield or even on the rear window.

Perform manufacturer’s routine maintenance for the car. Before taking a vacation trip or any long ride, get to the service facility for a check of belts, battery, fluid levels, brakes, steering components, and even for the rotation of the tires.

Have a Clean and Well-Stocked Vehicle

Drivers and passengers prefer a clean and uncluttered car, especially for long trips. While cleaning out the car, make sure the registration and insurance card are in the glove box along with the driver’s manual. Also, make sure there is a properly stocked emergency kit that includes band-aids, medicines, and other essentials.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Drivers need to be refreshed for summer trips as well. Motorists should stay hydrated, and they should never drink and drive. If one plans to drink on a night out, arrange for a rideshare service ahead of time to avoid an accident and legal consequences.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Do not be a distracted driver. If there is someone else in the car, let them choose the music or podcast. Try not to eat while at the wheel. The car’s navigational system can voice directions, so there is no need to look at a map.

Watch Out for Pedestrians and Other Road Users

In the summer, more people will be on the roadways, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Motorcycles can be difficult to see in sideview or rearview mirrors. Left turns are the most dangerous at intersections.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Speed limits should be followed. Look out for roadway construction and heavy trucks that can move at slower speeds. Trucks also can have sideview mirror issues, especially semi-trailers. That is why many have a message indicating to pass only on the driver’s side. Additionally, in neighborhoods and areas where children play, drive cautiously because children can dart out into the street or they can be difficult to see due to their height.

Protect Passengers

Children and pets have special requirements for a car trip. Children may need a properly installed car seat. If they need one, they need to be belted in and riding in that seat during the entire ride. Children and pets need to be monitored for interior heat in a car in the summer. With the air conditioning off, the interior temperature can rise quickly. Never leave a child unattended in a car. If a pet is left alone, make sure a window is left ajar to allow air into the vehicle.

Be Vigilant

In the summertime, remain vigilant, which means limiting risks and always practicing safety. Everyone should enjoy the weather, but stay cautious as well. If an accident does happen, the injured victim should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Illinois Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Assist Injured Clients With Summertime Collision Cases

Everyone benefits from safe summer driving, but some accidents are unavoidable. If you were recently injured in a collision, speak to one of our dedicated and experienced Illinois car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today. Call us at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation and for more information about your case. We are conveniently located in Swansea, Illinois, and we proudly serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.