The arrival of the summer months conjures up images of time spent on the beach, late evenings enjoying the sunset and road trips with family and friends. However, the summer months can also be filled with threats. The arrival of warm weather means much more than the end of the school year and the arrival of summer vacation. Here are 8 things that you need to be aware of if you’ll be driving in the heat.
1. Heat Kills Batteries
While winter temperatures kill more batteries, high heat can be a serious threat, particularly if your battery is on its last legs anyway. Before summer truly sets in, take your car in for a full charging system test to make sure that your battery, starter and alternator are in good shape.
2. Tire Condition
The tires on your car are immensely important, though they’re probably one of the last things teen drivers really think about. High heat on asphalt can lead to some serious issues, especially if you’re tooling around on “may-pops”. If your tires are looking a little worse for wear, replace them before the heat gets too high.
3. Tire Pressure
In addition to tire condition, you need to pay close attention to your tire pressure. Hot temperatures can actually increase your tire pressure substantially. That just increases when you hit the asphalt. Too much tire pressure can cause a blowout on the road, so make sure you keep a close eye on your tire pressure all summer long.
4. Engine Overheating
Summer heat can do a number on everything, including your car’s engine. This is particularly true if you’re running your air conditioner (using the AC heats up your engine more). Make sure to have a full cooling system check done before the heat sets in for good, and if your engine does overheat, pull over and let it cool down before you do anything.
Summer means more cars on the road, but it also means an increased chance of having an animal encounter. Deer are perhaps the most obvious animals you might encounter when driving, but there are many others depending on where you live. Be observant at all times because animals are much more active during the warmer months and an encounter with one can be fatal (for you and the animal).
6. Summer Storms
Summer thunderstorms are a reality in most places. Drivers should be extremely wary of driving during severe weather. The chances of hydroplaning, driving in high winds, combatting hail and no visibility due to very heavy rain all make summer driving more dangerous.
7. Beware the Interior
As the sun climbs the sky, temperatures rise higher and higher. While you might be well aware of the dangers of being unprotected outdoors in the high heat, it’s important to understand that your car’s interior is an even more dangerous place, especially for younger siblings and pets. Never, ever leave a pet or a sibling in the car during the summer, not even with the windows cracked.
8. A False Sense of Security
“The lazy days of summer” should be just that – days filled with relaxation and enjoyment. However, that can lead to a false sense of security when on the road. Do not let the “summer feel” lull you into being unobservant or overconfident. Always pay full attention to what you’re doing.
Following these simple tips will help ensure that you stay safe while on the road this summer, and avoid potentially deadly situations behind the wheel.
Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto flooring company based out Columbia, Missouri. Before AutoMatStore, Elfrink was the operator of a automotive production site. AutoMatStore focuses on all-weather, logo, carpeted and molded car mats. Again, thanks, Don, for the great information you sent us! pb