Florida is known as the sunshine state for a reason. With an average of 230 sunny days per year and the shortest day of the year only 3 hours shorter than the longest day, Florida is a destination state year-round, with endless beachy coastline cities and an interior filled with famous theme parks. Whether you’re a visitor to the “Land of Flowers,” or a year-round resident, it’s important to understand how the sun and heat of a Florida summer impact driving and how to stay safe in the Sunshine State.
Your vehicle’s tires are literally all that’s between your car and the hot tar on a Florida summer road. In the hot-weather season in Florida, it’s more important than ever to check the treads on your tires as well as their air pressure levels before hitting the road. Under-inflated tires overheat easily due to unnecessary drag on hot roads. This makes them more prone to blowouts and flats. Worn or damaged tires cause accidents. Even if a flat tire doesn’t cause a crash, with dangerous levels of heat during the Florida summer, changing a flat tire or waiting for a tow truck on the roadside under the summer sun can cause deadly heat stroke.
Despite Florida’s well-earned reputation as the Sunshine State, the summer season in Florida also means afternoon thunderstorms that come on suddenly and violently. These storms typically pass quickly but can make driving treacherous if you’re caught out on the road when they occur. Before you drive in the Florida summer storm season, be sure to double-check the effectiveness of your car’s windshield wipers. Some experts recommend replacing windshield wipers every summer in Florida, where the hot sun and humid climate causes dry rot which impacts the wipers’ effectiveness.
Florida drivers should also check their headlights before heading out. Headlights may turn yellow and dingy due to sun exposure. You should clean or replace headlight casings if they impact your ability to see clearly at night or during summer storms.
A car’s interior heats up quickly in any region during the summer, but with Florida’s intense summer heat, this heat effect happens with deadly swiftness. Never leave infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or pets in a locked car in Florida. Always check the back seat before locking your car and walking away. Even though most parents think this could never happen to them, the majority of child hot-car deaths occur when parents have no idea that their child is in the car when they leave their vehicle. This sometimes happens due to changes in routine, miscommunications, and when children climb into vehicles without their parent’s knowledge.
It’s important to follow traffic laws and avoid distractions while driving in any season, but when the summer season is in full swing in Florida, peak conditions for distracted drivers, inexperienced drivers, and intoxicated drivers cause more than the typical number of car accidents. Teens on school break are on the roads along with tired rideshare drivers and motorists who may have had a few too many drinks while socializing with friends. It’s important to remain alert on the roads and vigilantly aware of other drivers around you. It’s also crucial to follow traffic laws including speed limits, rules for 4-way stops, right-of-way laws, and traffic signals. Be extra alert for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Remember, Florida’s warm-weather season lasts well into October. Cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcycle riders share the road with motorists who must take extra care on the roadways during Florida’s extended season of sunshine.
As you navigate the challenges of summer driving in Florida, remember that Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann is here to help if you find yourself in an accident. Our experienced team is dedicated to assisting you in times of need, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the support you deserve. Our personal injury attorneys are located in Sarasota and Bradenton. Stay safe on the roads this summer, and know that we’re ready to provide expert legal guidance if the unexpected occurs.