Safety Tips for Driving on Hot Summer Days

Driving on hot summer days presents not only an inconvenience, but this can be incredibly dangerous as well. Around Tennessee, it is not uncommon for temperatures in summer to reach well above 90 degrees on most days. Temperatures in August, September, and even October can reach dangerously hot levels.

Hot weather can affect your daily commute in more ways than just causing discomfort as you touch the steering wheel and your seats. Heat can degrade various components of your vehicle and the roadway that you drive on. In the South, an area where we are used to prolonged periods of heat, there are several factors that you need to keep in mind to stay safe on the roadway. Check out these summer safety tips from our Nashville car accident attorneys.

Keep your vehicle cool

Just like the human body works better when it is not overheated, you also need to ensure that your vehicle’s components stay cool while they are in operation. Vehicle engines can get incredibly hot, so you need to keep a close eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge (this is true even on cold days). You may need to add coolant to your vehicle. If your vehicle begins to overheat, pull over immediately. Turn off the vehicle to avoid serious engine damage.

Watch out for the effect the heat has on your tires

When you drive, the friction between your tires and the roadway generates heat. This can be particularly damaging when the roadways reach temperatures that are much hotter than the ambient air temperature. Tires that are underinflated or heavily worn face a higher risk of a blowout. You need to regularly inspect your tires and have them replaced if they are damaged.

Check any rubber or plastic parts under your hood

Even when your vehicle is properly cooled, there are various other parts under the hood that are susceptible to heat. Check under your hood for any rubber or plastic that could be heavily damaged by the heat, particularly if your vehicle is ten years old or more. Open your hood at the beginning of summer and use a flashlight to look for any signs of damage. Repeat this towards the middle and end of summer.

Inspect your battery regularly

Vehicle batteries are prone to corrosion and leaks, especially if they are exposed to high heat. You do not want your battery to fail when you are away from home, leaving you stranded wherever you are. When you check under your hood to inspect other vehicle parts, you should also look at your battery and battery connections for signs of corrosion or loose connections.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle

Being stranded due to vehicle failure can be stressful and inconvenient. This is especially true when it is very hot out. You should keep an emergency roadside safety kit in your vehicle at all times. Stock this kit with non-perishable food items, water, a cell phone charger, and a small first aid kit.

Always check your vehicle for kids or pets

Even the most responsible person can forget that they have pets or children in their vehicle. However, leaving a child or a pet inside a vehicle during the summer months can be deadly. It only takes approximately 10 minutes for the vehicle’s interior temperature to increase by 20 degrees when the air conditioner is not on. Small children and pets can die when their body temperature reaches 104 degrees.