Summer is here and between family road trips, driving the kids to activities, and simply running errands, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time in the car. But when you’re driving with kids in the car, it’s important to take a few extra precautions in the summer heat. So let’s take a look at a few car and driving safety tips to keep in mind this summer.
Keep the Car Cool
When you get into a hot car, you’re probably immediately uncomfortable. This discomfort can be even more for kids and babies. So before you hit the road, you should cool the car down. While home HVAC systems should be inspected twice a year, you should ensure your car cooling system is in good working condition, too. If possible, cool down the car before you load up the kids. But if you’re in a rush, make sure you crank the air conditioning and open the windows and allow the car to cool as fast as possible. This way, you can keep yourself and the kids comfortably cool in the heat.
Don’t Leave Kids Unattended
While it may seem harmless and convenient to leave your child, or pet, in the car while you quickly run into the store, you should absolutely never leave children in a car unattended. Remember, the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, but especially during the summer. It only takes a few minutes for your car to heat up to dangerous levels without the AC running. Unfortunately, every year there are tragic accidents when very young children are accidentally left in baking hot cars.
Leaving your child in a hot car can be dangerous and can result in serious health problems for the child. So instead of cracking a window or even cranking the air conditioning, make sure to always bring children with you if you need to leave the car. And make sure you don’t put the kids in the car until you’re absolutely ready to leave — otherwise, you may end up having to get them out again while you run back into the house if you forgot something.
“In 2018, 52 children in the United States died from heat stroke as a result of being left in locked automobile,” says Brian Cummings of Cummings Law. “This is the highest number of this type of child fatality ever recorded in a single year, yet it is one of the most preventable types of death.”
Get New Wipers
Summer weather often brings heavy rains. And to be sure you can clearly see in a rainstorm, you should check your wiper blades. If they’re worn, dirty, or even ripped, now is the time to get them replaced. It’s especially important to replace wipers if they’re starting to leave streaks on your windshield. You need to make sure you can clearly see in any and all driving conditions to ensure you’re keeping your family and everyone else on the roads safe. Furthermore, it can be a good idea to take your vehicle in for a basic tune-up. Data suggests that roughly 77% of cars are in need of maintenance or repairs. Something like a DPF cleaning can help with efficiency and mechanics can ensure every aspect of your vehicle is in good working condition.
Ensure Everyone is Buckled Properly
If you have a bunch of kids you’re driving around, it can be easy to forget to check that everyone is properly buckled in. But making sure everyone, both the kids and yourself, are buckled in and secure. For kids that need to ride in a car seat or booster seat, now is a great time to have car seats inspected to make sure they’re up to the latest safety standards. And don’t forget to adjust the car seat straps to fit securely on top of loose summer clothing. For everyone else in the car, make sure kids are strapped in and the seatbelt is where it should be.
Whether you own a pickup truck, which account for 16.4% of U.S. auto sales, a minivan, an RV like 30 million other Americans, or a standard car, it’s important to make sure you’re being as safe as possible when driving yourself and kids around. It can be easy to forget some basic safety steps when you’re in a rush. But keep these safety tips in mind to make sure you keep everyone safe in the car this summer.