Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

How can drivers prepare for extreme heat?

New Jersey saw some ridiculously warm temperatures last summer, and it’s likely to do so again. As a driver, that can make things more dangerous.

Planning for extreme temperatures in advance can help you stay safe. Here are some ways to do that:

Expect road surfaces to be uneven

The tarmac can melt. If you are traveling a route where a lot of heavy trucks pass, don’t be surprised to see them create ruts in the actual road. Anyone in a smaller vehicle with smaller tires can get caught up in these, making it a struggle to stay straight. 

Expect some drivers to be dehydrated

Not everyone has working air conditioning in their vehicle. Think of the classic image of a dehydrated traveler growing delirious in the desert, then imagine they are driving a car. You can imagine the dangers as drivers get sluggish and make poor decisions.

Even those with good air conditioning may not have drunk enough water throughout the day to cope with the excess temperatures outside, and the brain and body need to be hydrated to function at their best.

Expect someone’s tire to blowout

Ensure your tires are in good condition, and assume not everyone else’s tires will be. The intense heat can make it more likely a tire that is incorrectly inflated or overdue retirement has a blowout. If it happens at speed, the driver may struggle to control their vehicle.

Driving can be risky at any time of year, but extreme temperatures can increase that risk. If someone injures you in a crash, they can’t just blame it on the weather. You’ll need to learn exactly what they did wrong so you can hold them responsible and get the compensation you’re due.

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