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Summer Driving Is Not Hazard-Free

Tough driving conditions due to hazardous weather are typically associated with the winter months, but summertime brings its own set of hazards on the road - some weather related and some not.

A number of insurance providers issue warnings about what to beware of while driving in warm-weather months. Here are some of the more common risks:

Tire blowouts - Maintaining proper tire pressure is especially important in the summer. Underinflated tires can explode due to too much friction or potholes that have not been repaired. Replacing worn or damaged tires is wise in any weather, but especially key in warm months.

Overheating - Vehicle engines aren't the only thing that can get too hot. In hot, humid weather, drivers who do not use air conditioning may get overheated and dizzy. Be aware of how you are feeling and pull to a safe spot if you feel faint.

Heavy rainfall - Poor weather doesn't disappear when the snow stops. Downpours and heavy winds can be more challenging to drive through than snowstorms. For starters, make sure your lights are on and that your vehicle's wipers are in good shape or they won't provide a clear view of the road. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and expect strong gusts. Flash flooding or unexpected deep puddles can make steering and braking difficult. Travel at safe speeds and give cars in front of you more room, just as you would in winter weather.

Construction - Summertime is road repair time. This means crews on the road, detours, sudden lane closures, debris and other tricky obstacles to negotiate. Pay attention to reduced speed limits in construction zones. Refer to online road repair updates and plan accordingly.

Motorcyclists and bicyclists - Be extra cautious when changing lanes and watch the shoulders of roads for bicyclists.

Pedestrians - One word: tourists. Similar to motorcyclists and bicyclists, summertime is high season for people to be on foot, particularly in urban settings. Be extra careful at intersections, but also be aware that people will cross in the middle of a street. Watch for children playing and chasing after wayward balls.

Summertime is a great season to be out and about, whether traveling long distance or getting around the city. You made it through the winter. It is important not to let your guard down now that warmer weather is here.

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