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summertime on the road

Summer Driving Safety Tips for New Drivers

Ah, the lazy days of summer. When you have a new driver's license in hand, every day has the potential to be a new adventure! If you're going to be out on the road this summer, however, make sure you're taking a few critical safety tips into consideration.

1. Don't try to multitask.

If you're going to eat in the middle of a road trip, take the time to actually stop and eat: don't try to eat while you're driving. Using your GPS to get to a new location? Pull over if you need to change the address or look at the directions. Multitasking while you're behind the wheel is a dangerous proposition, especially if you haven't yet had the time to fully develop your driving confidence.

2. Follow the restrictions on your license.

Many states now have a graduated driver's license policy that limits the hours when you're allowed to drive and the number of people that you're allowed to have in your car when you're driving. Follow those restrictions! Additional passengers can be a serious distraction when you're behind the wheel, and driving late at night, when you're more tired, can make it harder to avoid an accident. Save your multi-person road trips for a few years down the road, when you've had more time to practice your driving skills.

3. Check your shoes.

Girls, this one is more important than you think it is. Clunky, chunky shoes with high heels can be difficult to maneuver in when you're standing, much less when you're driving. If need be, keep a spare pair of shoes in the car for driving and change into the cute sandals when you reach your destination.

4. Pay more attention than ever to what's happening on the road.

Warm weather brings out more cyclists in the form of both motorcycles and bicycles. Get used to watching out for them so that you can share the road more safely. You should also pay close attention to pedestrians on the road. If you've seen someone and they disappear into your car's blind spot, make sure you locate them again!

5. Take care of upkeep on your car.

Summer offers you a little more freedom in your schedule. Take advantage of it to make sure that your oil change is current, your tires are filled with the right amount of air, and any other necessary maintenance on your car has been taken care of.

6. Be aware of the outside temperature.

This includes both making sure that your air conditioner is working properly and being aware of the temperature for children and pets who might be riding with you. Hint: never leave a child or pet unattended in the car, especially in the summer. Hot temperatures outside can turn the car into a sauna in a matter of minutes!

7. Pay attention to your temperature gauge.

If your car's engine overheats, it can cause serious damage quickly. While routine maintenance will help you keep an eye on your coolant levels, you should also remain aware of the temperature gauge when you're driving. Know what's "normal" for your vehicle. If it starts to exceed those temperatures, go ahead and pull over and let your engine cool off. Don't try to put water or coolant in the radiator while the car is hot, since it can crack the radiator.

Summer is a great time to build your experience and confidence behind the wheel, not to mention enjoying the freedom of your new license to have some incredible adventures. By following these safety tips, you can be sure that you'll have a safe, happy summer behind the wheel with a car that will be more likely to keep running smoothly.

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