Summertime brings longer days and ideal driving conditions to much of the United States. However, summer weather can also lull drivers into a false sense of security, according to data from a survey conducted by Michelin.
Approximately two-thirds of the drivers surveyed (67 percent) reported feeling safer while driving during the summer; their top reasons were better weather (81 percent) and better road conditions (83 percent).
However, more car accidents occur during the summer months than at any other time of year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Michelin survey found that 81 percent of drivers said they drove less cautiously in the summer, while 72 percent said they were less likely to pay attention to fellow drivers. Also, drivers were nearly three times less likely to check their tires during summer months.
Drivers tend to think about their tires in the winter, when slippery, icy roads require maximum traction. But heat is the enemy of tires, Sarah Robinson, driving safety expert at Michelin, says in a statement.
Some of the most severe tire-related incidents are due to under-inflated tires in summer months.
To combat potential hazards, Michelin offers several tips for safe summer driving:
- Give your car a tuneup. Before a summer road trip, check your car's oil and fluids, battery, windshield wipers, and tires.
- Check your tires. Use the penny test to ensure your tire tread, and check tire pressure using the manufacturer's setting found on the driver's door.
- Focus fully on your driving. Avoid using your phone, eating, or tending to children or pets in the backseat. Furthermore, pull over for a break when you start to feel tired, and switch drivers if possible.
- Watch your distance. Always keep a safe following distance to maneuver in case of emergency, even on dry roads.
- Carry an emergency kit. Keep an emergency bag in your car with water, blankets, flashlight, jumper cables, and non-perishable food.