Summer Travel Safety Tips

WITH the arrival of hot weather, PennDOT reminds motorists to ensure their vehicle is well-maintained and working properly to ensure safe travel during the summer months.

"Vehicle breakdowns are never convenient, but they can be especially problematic during hot weather," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler. "By taking the time to have your vehicle checked by a mechanic now, you may be able to prevent a future problem and better enjoy your summer travels."

Engine hoses and drive belts should be inspected by a mechanic for wear, and the cooling system should be checked to be certain that it is functioning properly to help avoid over-heating. Also, have the battery checked because battery failure is a common problem during hot weather.

In addition, motorists should regularly check fluid levels and tire tread depth. .It also is important to have tires properly inflated for maximum fuel efficiency. In times of very hot weather, air pressure inside the tire can expand, causing a blowout if the tire is in poor condition.

Hot weather also can contribute to problems on roadway surfaces. According to PennDOT, extreme heat causes oils deposited from vehicles to be absorbed into the road. Rain forces these oils to the surface, creating slick spots. Motorists should use extra caution while driving during a rainstorm, particularly after an extended period without rain.

PennDOT also suggests the following tips for safe summer driving:

  • *Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, which can heat up quickly during hot weather.
  • When traveling a long distance, try to plan your trip for early in the day or later in the evening when the weather is cooler.
  • Carry a cell phone and charger in case of emergency.
  • Carry extra water and non-perishable food.
  • State law requires headlights to be turned on any time the wipers are in use due to rain, fog or other conditions.
  • Remember to always buckle up and never drink and drive.

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