Summer is here!

Warmer weather is upon us, and there’s a new feeling in the air. This year more than ever, more people are expected to be out and about resuming summer activities, taking road trips and vacations, hitting the bike trails and mountains and beaches.

Resuming normal activities is great, and AAA wants everyone to enjoy these days safely and smartly.

Walking and Biking

More than 6,500 pedestrians died on US roads in 2020. Child pedestrian fatalities happen twice as often around parks than near schools. And, about 80% of child pedestrian accidents occur outside of intersections.

Adults should continually have conversations with their kids about staying safe while out walking (or biking) in their communities. This includes teenagers, too, who are often so distracted by their phones they miss the dangers of the roads and sidewalks they are walking on.

Bicycle use increased dramatically in 2020, so you’re likely to see an increased number of cyclists on the roads this year. Kids and adults can always use a refresher on safe biking. Check out all our information and free biking materials.

Reinforce basic rules often with younger children:

  1. Always walk on the sidewalks.
  2. If sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic.
  3. Always stop and look Left – Right – Left.
  4. Don’t ever dart out into the street between parked cars.
  5. Cross streets at crosswalks and intersections.
  6. When riding a bike, always wear a helmet!
  1. Don’t get complacent…follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  2. Never assume a driver notices you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you’re seen.
  3. When behind the wheel, you must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.  Don’t speed up to “make the light” at an intersection.
  4. Don’t use your phone while walking – studies show walking and texting accidents are increasing.

Caution: Hot Cars + Car Seats Don’t Mix!

As summer approaches, keep in mind that temperatures inside your vehicle can rise quickly: by more than 19 degrees in ten minutes, and up to 30 degrees more in 20 minutes.

Even if it’s 70 degrees outside, the interior of the car can reach 100 degrees in a short time.

Leaving the windows cracked has little or no effect. The car’s interior experiences a “greenhouse effect,” where the sun’s heat gets trapped inside the vehicle. Paint color, upholstery, and window tinting can more add heat to the interior.

Children are especially vulnerable because they don’t regulate heat like adults do. Brain and organ damage can occur after just 15 minutes. Pets are even more susceptible: their sweat glands are inadequate for cooling during hot days, and heatstroke can happen within minutes.

·       Never, ever leave your child or your pet in your car unattended.

·       Never assume you’ll be “in and out” of a store in just a few minutes.

·       Do not underestimate how quickly the temperatures inside a car can rise, regardless of the outside temperatures.

If you see a child or a pet alone inside a hot vehicle, always call 911.

Teen Driving

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the most dangerous for teen drivers. More teen driver crashes occur in these 100 days than any other time of year. 

Visit AAA.com/DeadliestDays or more information. Follow us on Facebook for facts, advice and tips to keep teen drivers safe during the 100 Deadliest Days and all year long.

Tire Safety

Tires are the base of your vehicle and the only touchpoint between the road surface and your 3,000-pound (or more!) vehicle.  AAA studies reveal that one out of every four vehicles have worn or underinflated tires. June is national Tire Safety Month, and summer is an easy time to check the tread and the condition of your wheels.

Inspect your car’s tires often, especially after driving over potholes or debris in the road.

  • If the wear pattern is in the middle section of the tire, this is likely due to overinflation, causing the middle section to contact the road and not the tire edges. 
  • If the wear pattern is on the edges of the tire, it’s likely your tires are underinflated.
  • Tread wear on one edge of a tire is a sign of your wheels being out of alignment.

Tread depth affects the traction a tire has on the roads and should be checked at least once a month. It’s easy to do with a quarter.

  • Insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington’s head facing down. (Take 3 measurements: outer edge, center, inside edge.) If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32” of tread and are fine for continued use. If you can see above the top of Washington’s head, it is time to start shopping for new tires. 

Automotive technicians should check your tires as part of routine maintenance, but be aware of three procedures that will help extend the life of your tires:

 

1.     Rotation

Front and rear tires wear differently, due to different functions (braking, steering, etc.) they perform. Rotating tires will extend their life and performance.

 

2.     Balancing

Properly balanced tires minimize uneven wear, and limit vibration as they turn. Newly installed tires should be balanced, as well as any tire that is removed from the wheel for inspection or repair.

 

3.     Alignment

Wheel alignment makes sure the position of the wheels matches the specifications from the manufacturer. If the alignment is out of range, the car may drift or pull to one side, causing wear and unsteady vehicle handling.

Roadside Assistance Truck