Summer is a great time in Canada. Warm weather, picnics, and the great outdoors – everyone loves summer!
But with the warmer weather come quite a few seasonal weather risks. In the summer, large thunderstorms are quite common in some areas of Canada. Pounding rain that reduces visibility, fog, hail the size of golf balls, loud thunderstorms, flash-flooding – if you’re unprepared for severe summer storms when driving, you could be in serious danger.
So Ride Time is here with some simple tips on preparing your car – and yourself – for driving in severe summer storms! Read on, and you’ll be able to stay safe even in extreme weather conditions!
1. Check The Condition Of Your Windshield Wipers
You may not think of your windshield wipers as an important safety tool during everyday driving – so it’s not uncommon to neglect regular windshield wiper checkups.
But just like every other part of your car, windshield wipers wear out. Rubber comes loose and becomes ineffective at wiping water away, metal components can get stuck – there are many ways your wipers can fail.
And if your wipers fail in the middle of a severe summer storm, you could be in trouble. Rain will reduce visibility to near-zero, and it may be difficult to even get off of the road safely.
Because of this, you should examine your windshield wipers at least monthly, and test them for proper operation.
2. Check Windshield Wiper Fluid Levels
Again, this is often neglected until it’s too late. Rain isn’t the only danger on the road during a storm – debris from sudden gouts of dirty water from overpasses, mud, and other material can easily get stuck to your windshield.
If you don’t have any wiper fluid, you may be totally blinded by mud or other debris that won’t wipe off, and you could be in serious danger while driving at high speeds.
So check your windshield wiper fluid levels regularly, and ensure you have enough to take care of the mud and grime that can be released by summer storms.
3. Check Your Headlights (And Don’t Forget To Turn Them On!)
In a severe storm, your headlights are the only things other drivers see. In poor visibility conditions, the light from your headlights can pierce the gloom, and properly operating headlights are absolutely critical for both your safety, and the safety of other drivers.
Check your headlights for proper operation regularly, and make sure that the bulbs are clear and bright. If your headlights are foggy, oxidized, or dim, consider cleaning them, and getting the interior bulbs replaced with a brighter, newer model.
4. Make Sure Your Tires Are In Good Shape
To maintain proper control of your car in dangerous, stormy conditions, there’s nothing more important than your tires. So make sure that your tires are:
- Properly inflated
- Free of any damage or leaks
- Not worn out (3mm tire depth recommended at minimum)
If your tires aren’t inflated properly, or you have low levels of tire tread remaining, your likelihood of hydroplaning dangerously on the highway increases significantly.
5. Clean The Inside Of Your Windshield
While many of us clean our exterior windshields regularly, fewer clean the inside of the windshield. This can be dangerous during the summer. During wet, cool summer storm conditions, serious fog and moisture can build up on windshields, and your defroster may not be powerful enough to restore visibility.
To reduce the likelihood of this occurring, you can clean the inside of your windshield. Fog builds up much more quickly on dirty windows, and things like air fresheners can coat the inside of your windshield with chemical compounds that promote the growth of fog.
Follow These Safety Tips – And Stay Safe Out There!
Thanks for reading this edition of the Ride Time blog, and for taking your own safety seriously! At Ride Time, we’re dedicated to helping our customers drive safely, and find fantastic used cars!
So if you’re worried that your vehicle may not be ready for major summer storms, bring it into Ride Time today! Our service staff can check and replace your tires, check all fluid levels, install new windshield wipers, and much more.
Stay safe – come to Ride Time, and prepare your car for those nasty late-summer thunderstorms today!