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Summer is here, and just about everyone is longing for a getaway. As Florida opens back up, more residents and tourists will be on the roads. More driving can mean more accidents and breakdowns, but one way to avoid the dangers of summer driving is to prepare your vehicle for the effects of extreme heat.

Here are a few precautions to take before you hit the road this summer (perform these checks yourself, or have a professional mechanic take care of them).

Inspect your vehicle

Check the pressure and condition of your tires monthly, including your spare tire. Under-inflated tires can overheat, increasing the chance of a blowout, especially if the roads themselves are hot. It’s hard to steer a vehicle after a blowout, which may cause an accident. Tire condition also affects your ability to steer in a storm when roads are slippery.

Check all fluid levels, including coolant, oil, transmission, power steering, and brake fluids. Your vehicle’s fluids help it run smoothly without overheating, something especially important when it’s already hot outside. See your owner’s manual for how often you should flush and replace coolant and other fluids.

Inspect belts and hoses to make sure they’re in good condition and firmly attached.

Be mindful of the age and condition of your battery, and keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. It’s not uncommon for Florida’s extreme heat to shorten car battery life.

Keep your cool by keeping your AC system working well. Aside from personal comfort, being too hot can affect your driving by making you sleepy, distracted, or irritable. Check the cabin air filter and replace if necessary to keep the cool air flowing. And remember, it can be warmer in the backseat of a car or SUV, so if you’ve got passengers or pets there, make sure they’re comfortable, too.

Don’t let your gas tank get too low. If there’s a power outage, due to high temperatures or storms, gas pumps may be out of commission.

What else can you do?

Reduce the chance of an accident (and higher insurance rates!) by practicing safe driving habits such as obeying speed limits and driving defensively.

Monitor the weather—a sudden summer storm can close roads or make them hazardous to drive on. Be prepared for a breakdown.

Have an emergency kit in your vehicle, and make sure you have water on hand.

Know if your car insurance policy covers roadside assistance. This optional coverage is usually inexpensive, and may give you peace of mind. Check with your L & M Insurance Group agent if you’re not sure if you have this coverage.

No one wants to be stranded by the side of the road on the way home from the beach, or to try to avoid an accident when a tire blows. Take a few basic precautions, and you’ll be ready to hit the road for summer adventure.

If you need car insurance, please give us a call at 813-672-4100 for a free quote! If you prefer, click here to contact us online.

For more information:

Safe Summer Travel

Prevent Accidents With Basic Car Maintenance

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