Believe it or not, summer driving can be more dangerous than icy roads and spring floods. The month of August had the second highest number of fatal car accidents in 2014, with 3,037, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, June, July, and September each had over 2,800 fatal accidents themselves. We all love the summer’s pleasant weather conditions, however it does come with its own set of challenges. Some of these challenges only require basic common sense, such as, make sure you have a functional air conditioning system, and never leave pets or children in the car. In the rush to get where you are going this summer, some things are worth taking a moment to check on. The sweltering temperatures can lead to a malfunctioning A/C, burning hot steering wheel, or even a dead car battery. While weather conditions can be unpredictable and increase your risk for accidents, there are some important ways you can beat the heat with these summer safety car insurance tips.
Excessive summer heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, causing a malfunction in the charging system. This will potentially destroy the battery. Fill coolant, transmission, differential, power steering and brake fluids to suggested levels. During the summer, coolant should be added as a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Have your car inspected for safety and serviced before you head out on a summer road trip. Many technicians recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles, and air conditioning units should be serviced every three years or as needed. The most common cause of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit is a low level of refrigerant. Also check hoses for cracks, leaks, and loose connections.
Summer heat can be very tough on your tires. Tire pressure changes with rising temperatures, and under-or over-inflated tires put you at risk for accidents, blowouts and flats. Check your tires on a regular basis during the summer months, especially during heat waves. Properly inflated tires increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to three percent, so this will help you save money at the pump as well. If you haven’t already, change your winter tires to all-season or summer tires. Winter tires are heavier and wear faster during the summertime, lowering your fuel efficiency. Before hitting the road, check your tires for wear, and ideally, you should check your tires every 3,000 miles. It is also a good time to make sure you have road side assistance. The best cheap car insurance policies usually include this coverage, but it never hurts to check.
Summer vacation means more teens on the road, and more teen drivers on the road can mean more danger for the rest of us. The lack of experience can lead to uncertain judgment and reaction time, and that can increase the risk of an accident. Data shows that teens are more likely to be involved in accidents than other age groups. Make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage and collision included in your car insurance policy, and that it will pay out enough to cover the complete loss of your car or recreational vehicle. If you are a cyclist or walker, check to see that your medical coverage is up to date, wear your protective gear, and stay in the bike lanes or on the sidewalks.
Summer brings more people and animals walking about,so it is important to keep your speed down to avoid hitting pedestrians or animals. Be more aware of your surroundings and the surprises that may enter your path while driving. There are many favorite and highly populated summer destinations, and suffering through traffic jam stress is the price for getting there. There is also a higher risk for encountering drivers who are under the influence and a higher potential for road rage. Vacationing drivers are often unfamiliar with the roads so they may drive too slowly. Plan ahead and practice all the defensive driving techniques you know. By knowing what you might encounter, and using these summer safety car insurance tips you can keep yourself safe, in spite of rubber neck drivers and cars full of maniac mouseketeers.
If you are heading out on your own summer adventure, make sure you review your insurance coverage. Specialized coverage may be necessary for certain off-road vehicles and campers. Check in with your agent and make sure you have the best cheap car insurance with the most complete coverage for all your toys. If you want some great destination ideas, “The Rand McNally Road Atlas continues to provide inspiration for travelers planning their next trip as well as serving as a trusted back-up in the car,” said Stephen Fletcher, CEO of Rand McNally. “For generations, we have been providing accurate and detailed maps, travel information, points of interest, and more in the Road Atlas. This new edition is not only updated, but provides even more city inset maps to help travelers find their way.” So get all the prep work out of the way and enjoy all that summer has to offer!