AAA: Summer Driving Tips

Summer weather leads to rising temperatures. AAA reports that millions of Americans are expected to take road trips during the summer months. The Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety & Education encourages you to be prepared this summer and take the following precautions:

Summer driving
  • Check your tire pressure at least once a month and especially before a long trip maintaining the manufacturer recommended pressure  (all 5 tires, including the spare tire)
  • Check and clean your car battery terminals
  • Replace wiper blades and refill washer fluid
  • Do not overload your vehicle ~ overloading can create excessive heat inside your tires and result in vehicle damage and/or personal injury
  • Check the tread and sidewalls of your tires, watch uneven wear pattern. “Uneven” means the tire is more worn on one edge. This usually means you need a wheel alignment. Also, run your fingers along the tread and feel for lumps. The presence of lumps could mean that the tire is not balanced correctly.

Driving during a summer storm
Severe thunderstorms and tropical weather systems can dump heavy rainfall over a short period of time making it extremely dangerous to navigate an automobile. Rivers, lakes, and ditches fill with water and overflow into low-lying or poorly drained areas. Urban and small stream flooding can occur in less than one hour.

  • Do not attempt to drive though the water if you cannot see the road or its line markings. You will not be likely to judge the exact depth of the water or be certain that the road is intact underneath it.
Wet weather driving
  • Moving water exerts pressure on a car. As water depth increases or a greater area is exposed to moving water, the pressure exerted increases and can wash the car away.
  • The surface of the road is affected as it becomes slippery. Water, sand and mud are now what the vehicle is resting on and can cause it to be swept away.
  • As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car and potentially stall your engine.
  • One foot of water can move most cars off the road.
  • SUVs are even more prone to be swept away due to their size and larger tires making them more buoyant.
  • If your vehicle stalls or is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
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