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Driving Safety: Things To Watch Out For This Summer

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With the warm weather comes a compelling urge to get outside and do stuff. Beautiful days mean trips to the beach, summer festivals, concerts and sporting events. But with all the fun in the sun to be had, the abundant driving to get to these places and events puts us all at a higher risk for having an accident.
Children at play
School is out and children will be outside playing. Whether it's on the sidewalk, a front yard, or a park, children, especially young children, don't have the wherewithal to look both ways before crossing the street. They will also dart out between parked cars after a ball or toy. Taking note of what type of area you're driving through can prevent a tragic accident.
Nocturnal animals
During the heat of the day, raccoons, opossums, community cats, and other night critters sleep wherever they can stay cool, but when the temperatures drop at night, these creatures come out looking for food and water. Many times they will cross busy roads in search of a water source. In more wooded or mountainous areas there are deer, moose and even mountain lions and other big animals for which to look out. While some animals are faster than others, none of them can outrun a car. Usinging your high beams can help detect animals along the side of the road. Going the speed limit on long stretches of road late at night makes it easier to brake in time and avoid hitting them.
Days spent with friends at the beach, picnics, concert festival and other great activities can make for complacent drivers on the way home. The sun can zap your energy, so outdoor activities, like swimming and playing sports, can really wear you out. Even lounging by the pool can leave you feeling a bit sluggish. Tired eyes and body are slow to react, creating a greater risk of getting into a fender bender on the way home. Staying hydrated and spending more time in the shade than the sun can help you retain some of your energy.
Related: Best Lake House Getaways Near Los Angeles
With the warm weather, bikers and bicyclists will be taking to the roads more frequently. Because they are smaller than cars, they are harder to see and the risk of having an accident with a cyclist is high. Be sure to look over your shoulder before switching lanes; cyclists can quickly move into your blind spot, especially when lane splitting. Keep a safe distance behind cyclists on the roads and freeways. While you may be paying attention, others might not be. You can avoid being part of a potential accident just by keeping enough distance from them.
Avoiding a breakdown
The summer months can be just as hard on your vehicle as the winter season. Hot asphalt can exacerbate tire issues and cause a blowout, engine heat can weaken rubber hoses causing them to spring leaks, and high temperatures can cause engine fluids to evaporate faster. Routinely checking tire wear and pressure along with coolant levels, belts and hoses can avoid not only breaking down but more costly issues in the future. Always travel with a spare tire and a container of coolant in your trunk.
Related: Best Cheap Long Weekend Trips Near Los Angeles


Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at

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