Spring is finally here, and after that, glorious summer, where you can kick back, drive with the windows down and soak up the sun. But did you know that driving in the spring and summer months can be more dangerous than driving in snow?
Warm and sunny weather offer a lot of distractions on a minute-by-minute basis—let alone on long drives down 340. You might not even notice how you have been distracted until a crash occurs. This is why it is crucial to know the increased hazards and distractions of driving in the spring and summer before you’re blindsided.
Warm Weather Driving Hazards
- Increased pedestrian and bike traffic in crosswalks, bike lanes, sidewalks and curbs can be distracting as well as dangerous. Make sure you’re alert and watchful for anyone stepping into traffic or ignoring signs.
- Increased road rage. The warmer you are, the more irritable you are. The same goes for everyone around you. Be aware of any signs of road rage and try to keep your cool when stuck in traffic.
- Vacation rush. Many people take their vacations between May and August, which not only means increased traffic but an increase of people who are in a hurry. Add in the fact that many of these vacationers will be unfamiliar with the roads and you have a recipe for traffic collisions.
- Green space. Increased foliage in the summer can block corners and sight lines. Make sure you slowly inch forward to guarantee any oncoming cars see you.
- Blinding sun and glare can not only be distracting but could temporarily dazzle you long enough to cause an accident. The traditional solution brings its own problems: sunglasses can increase your blind spot and decrease your peripheral vision.
- Drowsiness. After a long day at the beach or being out in the sun, being back in your cool car can be tiring; not only could you be dehydrated (which can cause drowsiness), but melatonin, a chemical in your brain that makes you feel tired, increases when you go from sun to shade. This drowsiness, if not combated, could potentially cause you to become less aware of your surroundings or nod off while driving.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the beach, the park or to work, beautiful sunny days can be a wonderful time to drive around with the windows down and the radio up. Just remember to do it safely by paying attention, taking precautions, and driving carefully.
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