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Summer traffic hazards: 3 issues to keep in mind

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Car Accidents

Everybody dreads winter road conditions – and not without reason. However, while summer brings relief from ice and snow on the streets and highways, it is still not without its challenges.

The glare of the sun on the road and other vehicles, sudden patches of fog in the early mornings and poor air quality from city smog and wildfires as far away as Canada can make summer driving treacherous. Here are some tips that may help:

Driving in sun glare

Glare has been cited as a major force in about 17% of environment-related accidents and is the number two cause of such wrecks – right behind slick roads. That makes the sun something you really have to factor into your drive. 

  • Use your sun visor. If possible, invest in an after-market extender to make it even more useful.
  • Clean your windshield. Those tiny particles of dust on your windshield, inside or out, can make refractive issues with glare even worse.

Naturally, you may also want to try to time your trips so that you’re never caught driving directly into the rising or setting sun, since that can be brutal on your eyes.

Driving in fog

Summer is known for sudden patches of fog in early morning or close to dusk. If you find yourself suddenly driving in foggy conditions:

  • Put your low beams to give yourself some visibility
  • Slow down so that you can give yourself more reaction time

If it is foggy enough that your visibility is really limited, it may also be time to pull over and wait it out. Most fog patches lift fairly quickly, and you’ll be safer.

Driving in smog from wildfires

The Canadian wildfires have been affecting most of the East Coast and Midwest, and the air can be a thick, smokey mess. 

In general, you want to treat the situation the same way you do fog: Stick to your low beams, slow down, keep your windows up to keep the smoke off the inside of your windshield and focus very hard on staying alert.

If you do end up in a wreck this summer through no fault of your own, it’s always wisest to find out more about your legal options.