Todd’s Summer Safety Tips
1) Never Leave Children or Pets in the Car
I don’t have to tell you that it gets hot in the summer. When it gets hot, your car heats up even quicker. Never, ever leave children or pets in the car, even just for a few minutes, and even with the windows cracked.
Heat stroke can begin in children after just a few minutes of being in a car because their bodies heat up faster than adults. The outside temperature doesn’t even have to be that hot, a warm spring day can also be dangerous. Check out this article for more information about preventing heatstroke in children.
2) Save the Flip-Flops for the Beach
Flips-Flops are awesome if you’re at the beach, or the pool, or just walking around your house. But you know when they’re not great? When you’re driving!
Why is that? Flip-flops can get stuck on the brake or gas pedal (definitely not good). Also, you don’t have as much control over your acceleration or braking while driving. If you wear flip-flops a lot during the summer, keep an extra pair of sneakers or other closed-toe shoes in the car that you can throw on when you go to drive.
3) Keep Your Pets Safe in the Car
We all love our pets! They are a big part of our families. They’re cute and cuddly. But you know what one of my pet peeves is? Seeing pets hanging out the window - of the driver’s seat!
You’ve seen them - drivers with their dog on their lap. This isn’t safe for anyone! The dog can jump out of the window. They can obstruct your view and you can get into a crash.
This summer, if you’re traveling and bringing your pet along (or just driving to the park for the afternoon), remember that they should be kept secured in the back, whether in a crate or with a partition. This is the safest spot for both you and your pets whenever you’re in the car.
4) Pack Up Your Car Safely
Do you have a vacation planned for this summer? Wherever you might be going, you’re probably going to bring a few things along. When travelling, It’s important not to overpack the car so much that you can’t see out of the back window.
First of all, it’s unsafe not being able to see out of the back of the car. Furthermore, if you get pulled over by the police and your rear view mirror is blocked, the officer could give you a citation for obstructed view. Now that would certainly put a damper on your vacation!
5) Watch Out for Surprise Thunderstorms
There are two main conditions for thunderstorms to develop - moisture and rapidly rising warm air. This is why thunderstorms are more common during the summer because we have both of those!
Summer thunderstorms tend to develop quickly in the late afternoon or evening. This means, if you’re driving, you need to be very attentive enough to notice that one is coming. A safe, defensive driver is always scanning the roads and surroundings, as well as checking their rearview mirrors. One of the things you can scan for is dark clouds rolling in.
If you get caught in a sudden thunderstorm while driving, remember that the roads are most slippery in the first few minutes of rain. This is because residue and oils on the road mix with the rain to make for slick conditions.
If you’re a parent driving with your new teen driver, it might be a good idea to pull over and wait until it passes or switch drivers. Your teen’s first driving in the rain experience shouldn’t be a sudden occurrence.
Even if you’re an experienced driver, remember to slow your speed, turn on your windshield wipers, and turn on your lights. If it gets really bad, turn on your 4-way hazard lights, or maybe even pull over.
Between no school, beach vacations, backyard BBQs, and great weather, summer can be a really fun time! No one wants to ruin their summer or vacation with a car crash. Let’s all keep the fun of summer by staying safe in our cars and on the roads.