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Summer Weather That Wreaks Havoc on Driving

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2017 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab Diesel

After months and months of wishing for warmer weather and vacation time, it’s no doubt that drivers might be in a rush to hit the road. But, just because there’s no threat of ice and snow, doesn’t mean summer weather is worry-free. To ensure your road trip, summer travel plans, or even your commute are hassle-free, be sure to prepare yourself and your car for summer’s own brand of dangerous weather conditions.

According to writer Tiffany Means, thunderstorms are still scary when you’re adult, especially if you get caught in one while driving.

“Torrential rains can make roadways slick and reduce visibility to zero. And if the storm includes hail, your car can be damaged,” said Means.

In addition to more sunny days and trips to the beach, summer produces the most frequent and severe thunderstorms, according to Means.

“The increased sun angle (the angle at which sunlight strikes the Earth) means that the sun heats the Earth’s surface more directly. More solar radiation means there’s more heat energy residing in the air to fuel convection—a necessary ingredient for storm development,” reports Means.

Means also warns against driving or riding in a convertible during a lightning storm because a convertible lacks a metal roof, a necessary component of a vehicle’s complete metal frame; a complete metal frame is what protects drivers and passengers from being harmed if lightning decides to strike the vehicle, according to Means.

Even with a complete metal frame, though, passengers and drivers can still be hurt if lightning strikes the car, which is why Means recommends not touching any metal or electrical objects including the radio, USB connectors, GPS units, cell phone charger, foot pedals, steering wheel or car door handles, inside the car.

“The most fool-proof way to stay safe is to pull over onto the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, turn off the engine, keep your hands in your lap, keep the windows rolled up, and wait until the thunderstorm has passed before continuing on your journey or exiting the car,” said Means.

Hot temperatures are perfect for a day at the beach or pool, but they can be extremely dangerous when traveling because the temperature in the car can far exceed the outside temperature, which is already off the charts, according to Means.

“Cracking” the windows is not enough, according to Means who recommends that during a pit stop, leave the air conditioner cranked and always have an adult supervise the vehicle; and always make sure everyone is safe and accounted for—do not leave anyone, even pets, in a hot car, ever.

News Source: ThoughtCo.