Summer is finally here? The kids are out of school, families begin to plan and leave on holidays and a whole new list of challenges present themselves to drivers.
What challenges does summertime driving present on and off the job?
Kids are out of school and can be anywhere…they are excited to be out in the sunshine playing and may not take care to look both ways before entering the street
Many more cyclists can be expected. These include: those little ones just learning and wobbling around with or without training wheels, experienced cyclists touring the countryside loaded with camping gear, racers training for the next event, recreational cyclists on mountain bikes
- Slow moving recreational vehicles driven by folks who are less than experienced in these larger vehicles
- Tourist drivers unfamiliar with roads and possibly driving slow and lost
- Pedestrians of every type and description
- Tourists, if you are in an area where there are attractions, campgrounds or resorts;
- Sightseers around landmarks or parks
- People out for a cool evening stroll
- Excessive heat can affect drivers in negative ways
Summertime can also create challenges for vehicles. So if you are planning, plan to have your vehicle checked.
What are the best ways to manage these challenges?
Anywhere that there may be children around, slow down and take extra care to think and look ahead.
Anticipate where children may be coming from and cover your brake if you are in doubt at all about where they may come from.
Remember, we all teach our kids to be safe around traffic, but some learn faster than others!
Dealing with cyclists can be frustrating, particularly if they are slow and in your lane where you don’t have room to pass.
Every cyclist has different skill levels and capabilities and a different attitude towards traffic. When you encounter a cyclist on the road, remember to SHARE THE ROAD responsibly. They are not permitted to ride on the sidewalks and gravel shoulders are difficult and dangerous for most road bikes; they are required to be on the roadway and it’s everyone’s responsibility to share.
Take a breath, be patient and wait till you can pass safety. NEVER crowd a cyclist as you pass.
You may be in a hurry to get to your destination, but remember these motorists are on holiday! They may be less concerned about time and speed.
The driver may not be experienced in this size vehicle. Watch out, particularly for rentals/Motorhomes, often these drivers have no experience at all!
If you are driving in mountainous areas, you may find that many Motorhomes are underpowered, overloaded and SLOW! Be patient with these drivers as they are likely going uphill as fast as they can!
If you are the Driver, take every opportunity to pull over if you are holding up traffic and let others pass. This is much safer than waiting for the guy behind you to attempt an unsafe pass.
Maintaining patience behind a lost tourist is challenging but it’s the only option. Give them a break and time to figure out what they are doing.
When you are traveling, check your maps first and use a satenav. Pull over if you are lost or uncertain to re-orient yourself. Avoid last minute turns or lane changes. It’s safer to go around the block or come back if you miss a turn.
Don’t ruin your holiday with an accident!
Pay particular attention in summer for pedestrians.
Scan intersections and make sure that you should check before turning. In heavily trafficked tourist areas, keep your speed very low. Be aware that around lakes, beaches and parks, some of the pedestrians may have been drinking and taking chances.
Check your vehicle to make sure that it’s ready for summer driving.
One of the most common failures is the cooling system. Check your coolant levels regularly and top up when needed.
If you are towing a trailer, make sure that your vehicle is rated to tow the weight and has the capability to slow and stop it on the downgrades.
Make sure that you secure camping or recreational equipment in the vehicle so that it doesn’t move around or obstruct vision.
Have a great holiday!