Whether you’re driving across town or heading out on a family vacation, it’s important to be aware and alert when behind the wheel. That, however, it not where driving responsibly starts and ends. There are a number of things you can do to drive safely during the summer in Baltimore. We’ll provide you with tips for safe driving, so you can make the most of your summer.
Recognizing Summer Driving Hazards in the City
Part of driving safely in the city means understanding what the risks are. The risks change depending on the time of year. The hazards below are most common in the summer months.
- Vacationing Drivers. Summertime brings unfamiliar drivers to the city. Those who are unaccustomed with the highways may drive erratically when trying to reach their destination. Additionally, those who are unfamiliar with driving in an urban setting may be overwhelmed by the amount of traffic and lack of space.
- Inexperienced Drivers. Teen drivers are on the road more often once the school year has ended. While some inexperienced drivers are cautious and responsible behind the wheel, others speed, text and drive, or take part in other dangerous behaviors.
- As the warm weather arrives, more motorcyclists take their vehicles out for a ride. Both motorcyclists and drivers have a responsibility to share the road and stay alert. When either becomes distracted or ignores the rules of the road, fatal accidents are possible.
- Overheating Engines. As outdoor temperatures rise, so do the temperatures inside engine compartments. When cars are poorly maintained, the risk of overheating is a serious possibility. This can lead to breakdowns or collisions.
- Warmer weather also brings about road construction. After the winter season, roads often need repairs. This is also the time when new roads are built. In construction zones, speeds are reduced, and drivers are required to proceed with caution. Unfortunately, some drivers disregard their obligations and accidents happen.
- While snow and ice are often thought to be the main threat to cars when it comes to inclement weather, rain can also be dangerous. When tires lose contact with the road because of rainwater the driver may lose control.
Maintaining Your Vehicle in the Summer
While maintaining a vehicle is typically thought to be a pre-winter activity, it’s just as important to inspect cars for roadworthiness in the warmer months. It’s a good idea to take your car to a mechanic so they can look over the brakes, tires, belts, fluid and oil levels, hoses, transmission, and A/C. As mentioned above, engines can overheat in the summertime. This is why it’s also crucial to have the radiator, radiator hoses, and coolant level checked.
Maintaining a vehicle doesn’t stop after the mechanic has inspected it. As a responsible driver, you have a responsibility to key an eye on things. Prior to driving, especially before a long trip, check the tire pressure, wiper blades, battery strength, headlights and brake lights, turn signals, and oil level.
Being Aware of Pedestrians
When you drive in the city, you have to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. While most walkers and bike riders are aware of their surroundings and are careful when stepping out into a road, not everyone is. As a driver, it’s your job to ensure there’s no one around you while you’re driving. It’s crucial to look before pulling out of a parking spot, leaving a driveway, or while driving through a traffic light.
In the summertime especially, it’s important to be on the lookout for children. It’s likely that more kids will be playing outside in the summer months. Younger children are particularly at risk for backover accidents because of their short stature.
Preparing for Traffic and Roadside Emergencies in the Summer Heat
If you’re a local, you know that traffic jams in the summer can be a serious problem. Construction, auto accidents, and rush hour contribute to how backed up the roads can get. If there’s a possibility that you could be stuck in traffic for a significant amount of time, it’s important to be prepared. You’ll also want to be ready in the event your vehicle breaks down and you have to wait some time for a tow truck or a ride home.
Make sure your car is stocked with plenty of drinking water, nonperishable snacks like granola bars, a cell phone charger, flashlight, and first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to have jumper cables, a reliable spare tire, tire tools, and road flares or hazard triangles.
Knowing What to Do in a Car Accident in Baltimore
Even when you follow the tips we discussed for driving safely in the summer in Baltimore, accidents happen. In the event of a crash, it’s important to know what actions to take, so you can get help to those who need it and get your life back in order as quickly as possible.
If no one’s been injured and the vehicular damage is minor, simply share contact and insurance information with the other driver and file a claim. Your insurance company will look into the matter and provide you with a settlement. If injuries or serious damage occur, call 911. They’ll send the necessary emergency services to help you. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the wreck, you may benefit from hiring a car accident lawyer in Baltimore. They may be able to help you maximize the compensation you receive so you can recover faster.
Stay Safe on the Road This Summer
Recognizing the dangers of driving in the summer and knowing how to reduce your risks of an accident is crucial. With the tips above, you’ll be able to take precautions and keep yourself and others on Baltimore roadways safe.