Safe Driving Tips for Summer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking all motorists to follow important safety recommendations before driving in the summer.

Why is Summer So Dangerous for Drivers?

Some people may think that driving in the summer is safer because the weather conditions are much less dangerous, however that’s not always the case. In fact, there are many more accident risk factors on the road during the summer time.

More people take trips during the summer, so if you live in a popular tourist destination such as Denver, you will have to deal with more congested roads. Because the majority of drivers will be unfamiliar with the Denver area, they may drive slower, make wrong turns or miss traffic signs.

There are also a higher number of teen drivers on the road during summer because school is out. Teens are still learning how to drive, so this increased presence on the road could lead to a higher number of car accidents during the summer.

Hot weather can cause your tire air to expand and lead to tire blowouts, especially during extreme heat waves. When a tire blows out on your car, it could cause you to swerve or lose control for a few moments. Be mindful of this as you drive and always stay alert to react if it happens to another driver on the road.

Summertime is also a popular time for cities to begin construction projects on the road. This means that there will be an increased number of road closures, construction workers on the streets and possible dangers.

Because the weather is so beautiful during the summer in Denver, there will most likely be a higher number of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists out on the road. Drivers must stay alert at all times to ensure that the roads ahead are clear of these riders and walkers.

How Can Drivers Stay Safe in the Summer?

Keep your car well-maintained. Change the oil if necessary, give the battery a complete checkup, and make sure that your tires are inflated and rotated. Make sure that your air conditioner is in working order. This will help you prevent overheating or suffering from dehydration while on long drives in the summer. Avoid summer breakdowns – these are not only inconvenient, but can also place you at risk of an accident. Make sure that your vehicle is serviced, according to the recommendations of your auto manufacturer.long drives in the summer. Avoid summer breakdowns – these are not only inconvenient, but can also place you at risk of an accident. Make sure that your vehicle is serviced, according to the recommendations of your auto manufacturer.

Keep a summer emergency kit in your car at all times during these months. Your kit should contain lots of water, wipes, road flares, a cell phone with a spare charger, jumper cables, snacks, first aid kit, sunscreen, tire pressure gauge and tire sealant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there is one at least one drunk driving accident fatality somewhere in the United States every hour. Avoid drinking and driving, and if you plan to go out and drink, designate a driver to get you home safe. For help filing an alcohol-related car accident claim, speak to a Denver car accident lawyer.

Wear a seatbelt while driving, and make sure that everyone else in your car is also buckled in safely. Seatbelts can reduce the risk of death by 45 percent in the case of front seat passengers. Ensure that child passengers are also restrained safely.

Because teenagers will be driving more during the summer since school is out, don’t forget to have a conversation with them about safe driving. Talk to teens about the dangers of distracted driving and driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Make sure they know that texting and driving is against the law, and so is talking on the phone if they are under the age of 18.

If you’re going on an extended road trip, you may become bored with driving and tempted to look around or multitask with your cell phone to pass the time. Be sure to avoid this boredom by scheduling frequent stops to stretch your legs and take your mind off of driving. As the driver, it is your responsibility to keep everything in the vehicle safe, so don’t take this duty lightly by becoming distracted.

Tips for 15-Passenger Vans

Are you planning a road trip vacation with lots of family members? You may consider renting a larger sized vehicle, such as a 15-passenger van, to ensure that no one gets left behind. However, if you do rent one of these vehicles, it’s important to follow safety tips to protect all of your passengers and yourself.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 653 car accident fatalities involving 15-passenger van accidents, between 2004 and 2013. An overwhelming majority of the fatalities occurred in rollover accidents. Reducing the risk of an accident involving a 15-passenger van depends very heavily on tires safety. These vans must have tires that are correctly sized for the vehicle, and load rating. Additionally, it’s also important to understand that tires are at risk of degradation over a period of time. If your tires need replacement, replace them. Avoid buying used tires or older tires as replacement tires.

If you own a 15-passenger van, make sure that the van is not loaded to beyond its capacity. Overloading is a common cause of rollover accidents involving 15-passenger vans. Make sure that the car components are inspected, and replaced or repaired, if necessary.

Also make sure that the van is operated by a person who is familiar with handling a 15-passenger van. These vans are more challenging to drive, and an inexperienced driver could mean a heightened risk of a rollover crash. These are devastating accidents that have a much higher risk of injuries and fatalities.

Summer can mean enjoyable driving, and also a heightened risk of accidents. If you are involved in an accident, speak to a Denver car accident lawyer about filing a claim for compensation. A claim for compensation can help you recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability. Call a Denver accident lawyer to ascertain the value of your claim.

By: Dallas Norton

Dallas Norton, the founding partner of Norton & Bowers, has practiced law with a focus on personal injury since 1992. Mr. Norton has extensive Colorado roots including grade school in Arvada and high school in Denver. He earned his J.D. from Brigham Young University Law School in 1991. When working on behalf of clients, Mr. Norton draws upon his extensive background in psychology and human resources.