Even though it generally feels like summer all year here in South Florida, the actual summer season still brings changes that can make driving more dangerous. While hot weather accounts for increased tire blowouts and overheated engines, the summer months bring additional problems that require drivers to be extra careful. Whether you're planning a Florida vacation or hitting the road to another state, here are a few things to beware of.
- Vacationers: Here in Florida, we're all too aware of the traffic congestion caused by tourists, especially during peak holiday travel periods. Not only does summer put even more people on the road, but they are often in unfamiliar surroundings. They may change lanes unexpectedly or drive slowly as they seek their destination. Be patient and allow a little extra room. If you're the one driving on an unfamiliar highway, you may want to stay in the far right lane so that other drivers can pass you.
- Cyclists: In addition to more cars on the road, there are also more bicyclists and motorcyclists. Be especially careful, particularly in residential areas where you're sharing the road with bicyclists. Be on the lookout for motorcyclists, who can easily get into one of your blind spots. If you're the cyclist, make sure that drivers can see you.
- Construction Zones: With warm weather comes increased road construction, particularly in parts of the country where inclement weather makes it impossible in the winter. These construction zones can be dangerous for drivers as well as, of course, for workers. In California, a moving public service announcement featuring the children of road maintenance workers uses the slogan, "Be Alert. Our Parents Are at Work."
- Teen Drivers: Speaking of kids, summer means more teen drivers on the road going to the beaches, shopping centers and summer jobs. We've discussed here before the unsafe driving behaviors that account for the high accident rates among teen drivers. These behaviors endanger others on the road as well.
Patience and vigilance are key to protecting yourself, your family and others on the road this summer. Of course, all the conscientiousness in the world can't always protect us from the reckless or negligent actions of another driver. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you can and should determine what your legal options in order help you move on after an accident.
Source: esurance, "Dangers of summer driving," accessed June 02, 2015