A new study from Michelin found that two-thirds of drivers feel safer driving during the summertime. In reality, you shouldn't feel that way at all.
Michelin conducted a new survey for National Tire Safety Week, which the tire giant is celebrating from May 28th through June 3rd. It found that drivers feel safer driving during the summertime, and, as a result, many let their guard down.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Two out of three drivers (67%) of those polled said they feel safer driving during the summer compared to other times of year. When asked why, reasons they gave included better road conditions and nicer weather.
- 74% of drivers believe summer has fewer accidents than other times of the year (which is false).
- The survey also found that drivers are three times less likely to be as vigilant as needed behind the wheel during the summer compared to the winter.
Respondents overwhelmingly showed that they are less careful when driving during the summertime. This is what they admitted about their summer driving behavior:
- 81% of respondents said they don't "drive cautiously" in the summer months, giving examples such as not taking extra care when stopping or turning and not paying as much attention to their speed.
- 72% said they don't pay as close attention to other drivers and their surroundings during the summer compared to winter.
- Michelin found that drivers were almost three times less likely to check their tires' condition in the summer.
It appears that the nicer weather and longer daylight hours during summer is giving drivers a false sense of security, causing their driving behaviors to get way too careless.
This is a problem because summer is not a safe time for driving. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that more car accidents happen during the summer months than any other time of the year.
Summer Driving Safety Tips
With Memorial Day come and gone, the summer travel season has begun in full force. With this in mind, it's important that you don't follow the lead of the drivers from Michelin's survey. Instead, you need to practice extra caution behind the wheel during the summer months.
Here are some summer driving safety tips to help you out:
- Use Common Sense
Summer driving safety starts with all of the common sense safety practices you should be following year round. Buckle up every time you hit the road. Obey all signs and traffic laws. Practice a safe following distance and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always keep your focus solely on the road and don't allow yourself to be distracted.
- Prepare for Road Trips
Summer is also a popular time for road trips, and you are going to want to prep your car for these adventures. Ahead of a trip, you will want to check out your car. Check the oil and other fluids, ensure all lights and turn signals are working, make sure the wipers work properly, and have a mechanic test your battery. It's also smart to carry an emergency kit in your trunk, just in case. Finally, during longer trips, it's important that you take breaks. Every couple of hours, hit a rest stop or pull over somewhere safe to stretch your legs and reset your mind.
- Don't Forget About Tire Maintenance
The driving safety experts at Michelin remind drivers that heat is as big of an enemy to your tires as snow and ice. With this in mind, it's important to be extra careful about tire maintenance during the warmer months. Start by making sure they are properly inflated to achieve maximum performance. Then, confirm the tread is sufficient using the penny test or a tread depth gauge. Finally, you will want to make sure your tires are properly balanced and aligned.
The Bottom Line
Don't think for a second that summer is a safer time to be driving because of the nicer weather. Instead, buck the trend and practice increased awareness with our summer driving safety tips.
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