How to be safe driving this summer
The summer vacation season is in full swing and it is the busiest time of year on the roads. Following some simple safe summer driving tips will keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Family-packed cars, motorcycles, trucks, campers, trailer-hauling vehicles and bicyclists are all competing for a piece of the highway. With all that extra traffic, drivers must be extra vigilant and patient.
Most would think driving in the summer is much safer and serene compared to winter. But, the fact is August has the highest traffic fatality rate of any month. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 3,136 crash-related deaths in August, 2013 with July and September close behind with more than 2,900 accident fatalities.
Remember, if you are involved in a crash, it affects your auto insurance rates, particularly if you are at fault. Taking extra precautions to drive safely will help get you through the summer season incident-free. Here are some safe summer driving tips from InsuranceHotLine.com:
- Safe driving practices – With increased traffic volume, safe driving practices become particularly important. In addition to regular local traffic, there are many tourists hitting the roads that may be in unfamiliar territory. Stay alert for vehicles that may make a sudden turn or lane change. Leave plenty of room behind the vehicle you are following, obey speed limits, avoid frequent land changes and use directional signals when turning.
- Bikes and motorcycles – Watch for cyclists and motorcyclists on the roadways. The summer months bring them out on the roads in droves. Bikes and motorcycles often move fast and can be hard to see. They also may make sudden, unexpected turns. As a motorist, you may not be expecting them.
- Keep a clear view – When packing your car for a vacation or road trip, don’t sacrifice your field of vision trying to squeeze in extra supplies inside. Consider using a utility trailer or roof rack. Make sure anything on the outside of the car is secured. Make sure you can clearly see your mirrors and through all the windows. If your windows are blocked, you could be fined for having an obstructed view.
- Buckle up – You have heard this time and again – buckle up! Make sure you and all your passengers have their seatbelts secured. Infants and young children should be in a child seat. It has been proven that seatbelts really save lives. If your vehicle is involved in a crash or rolls over, the seatbelt will keep you from being ejected. Occupants not buckled up are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash than those not wearing seatbelts.
- Road work – Road construction typically takes place during the summers months. This results in closed lanes and traffic tie-ups. Use caution and reduce your speed when driving through a work zone and be alert for construction equipment that may move into your lane. Most states double fines for speeding through road construction zones. Also, remember to obey the move over law that requires drivers to move over to the next lane if there is an emergency vehicle at the side of the road.
- Teen drivers – When school is out for the summer, more teen drivers hit the roads. Sadly, more teen drivers on the road can mean more danger for the rest of us. The unavoidable lack of experience can lead to questionable judgment that can increase the risk of an accident. Data shows that teens are more likely to be involved in accidents than other age groups.
Following these safe summer driving tips and keeping your car properly maintained will keep you and your passengers safe for an enjoyable summer.
If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848