While winter is widely recognized for its perilous roads and frequent accidents, the summer season poses an even greater risk when it comes to driving. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has earned the notorious reputation of being the “100 deadliest days of summer” due to the high number of fatal accidents occurring during this time. Many of these accidents, however, are preventable. Understanding what the increased dangers are and how to avoid them can keep you safe and on schedule this summer season.

Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers pose a significant danger on the road, especially with the rise in tourists exploring unfamiliar areas. These drivers, due to excitement or unfamiliarity, may easily get distracted by the scenery, GPS devices, or conversations, compromising their safety and that of others. Remaining vigilant and recognizing signs of distracted driving is crucial for all drivers to ensure a safer environment.

During the summer months, the increased number of cars on the road amplifies the dangers. Congested highways and impatient drivers rushing to their destinations may lead to speeding and reckless lane changes.

These actions not only endanger their own lives but also pose a threat to responsible drivers. To mitigate the risks associated with summer traffic, it is essential to exercise patience, follow speed limits, and maintain lane discipline.

Construction Zones

During the summer season, construction zones increase as road repairs are conducted to fix winter damage. While necessary for road safety and functionality, these projects pose dangers for drivers.

Sudden lane closures can surprise motorists, leading to hazardous situations. Drivers must stay alert for construction zone signs, adjust speed and lane position in advance, and avoid reckless driving.

The need to reduce speed and maintain a safe following distance can create a tense driving environment, but remaining calm and focused is crucial. By staying attentive, watching for brake lights, and obeying speed limits, drivers can help reduce risks in construction zones and promote road safety.

Summer Traveling

Increased summer travel poses a range of road dangers that require caution and preparedness. The roads become a hub of activity as families embark on exciting vacations and road trips, but amidst the fun, there are potential risks to watch out for.

The presence of people hauling trailers, boats, and driving RVs can contribute to many dangerous situations on the road. These large vehicles require extra attention and skill to maneuver, and their presence can affect the overall flow of traffic. It is important to watch these vehicles when traveling around them, as many of these vacationers have no special training to operate them.

The influx of tourists and people unfamiliar with the area can create additional risks. Many individuals venture to new destinations during summer vacations, which means they may not be familiar with local traffic patterns, road conditions, or signage.

This lack of knowledge can lead to confusion and potentially dangerous situations. It is important for drivers to exercise extra caution, remain attentive, and follow navigation systems or local directions carefully.

Additionally, with schools out, teenagers join the summer travel crowd, eager to explore and enjoy their break. While their excitement is understandable, their lack of driving experience can pose a risk. These kids may be speeding, changing lanes recklessly, and often drive distracted. It is important to be aware of the increase in young drivers on the road and allow extra space for these vehicles.

Drive safely road sign

Summer Driving Tips

While these are the most dangerous days to be driving, there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe on the roads. Here are some essential summer driving tips to help you avoid collisions.

Be Thorough in Your Inspections

Thorough inspections play a crucial role in ensuring safety while driving in the summer. Before leaving on a load, take extra care during your pre-trip inspection. The hot weather brings unique challenges, making it essential to be extra sure your truck and trailer are in good shape.

Unexpected flats can occur more frequently due to increased debris on the road during summer. Ensuring that you don’t have low tread or low tire pressure can save you from being stranded on the highway. The summer heat could make waiting on truck repairs far more dangerous.

Truck and car crash

Avoid Risky Behaviors

To ensure a safe driving experience during the summer, it is crucial to prioritize defensive driving. This means staying attentive and alert, keeping an eye out for other vehicles on the road. Being aware of your surroundings and the actions of other drivers allows you to anticipate potential risks and take proactive measures to avoid accidents. Scanning your mirrors every few seconds is essential for this awareness.

Keeping to the speed limit is also vital for minimizing hazards. Driving within the designated speed limits not only helps you maintain control of your vehicle but also gives you sufficient time to react to unexpected situations.

Maintaining an appropriate following distance is another important aspect of safe driving in the summer. Keeping a 6-second following distance between your vehicle and the one in front allows you to have a safe buffer zone. This extra space provides you with ample time to react and adjust your speed, especially in the event of sudden stops or emergencies.

Look Ahead

When driving in the summer, it is essential to look far ahead to prevent accidents. By looking a quarter mile (12-15 seconds) ahead, and identifying potential hazards early on, you can avoid dangerous situations. This extra time allows you to adjust your speed, change lanes, or take evasive action before an accident can occur.

Busy road at rush hour

Stay Alert

To stay more alert when driving, it’s important to keep your eyes moving. Avoid fixating on any one thing for more than a couple of seconds at a time. By constantly scanning your surroundings, you remain vigilant and ready to react to potential hazards.

Additionally, sun glare can cause eye fatigue, so take steps to minimize its impact. Wear polarized sunglasses or use sun visors. By actively moving your eyes and protecting them from glare, you can stay alert and focused while on the road.

The hot weather can also increase fatigue and lack of awareness. Utilizing air conditioning and fans can help you to stay awake and alert during long hours on the road.

Don’t Be Hasty

Ensuring other drivers see you on the road as a truck driver is crucial for accident prevention. Seek eye contact before merging/switching lanes, use turn signals, and activate emergency flashers when necessary. These actions enhance visibility and communication, reducing blind spots, promoting predictability, and enabling others to react and avoid collisions.

Truck driver looking at side window

This blog post is for informational purposes only. ShipEX makes no warranties about this information’s completeness, reliability, or accuracy. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk. ShipEX will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection therewith. Furthermore, nothing in this blog alters ShipEX Policies which are subject to change without notice.