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Summer is in full-effect! Are you ready fun in the sun at the beach and lakes, family vacation, and serious off-road recreation? Nothing puts a damper on your summer enjoyment more than an accident or other unforeseen incidents. Being summer safe means more than slathering on the sunscreen to protect your skin. Protect you and your family from hot-weather disaster by keeping your vehicle(s) summer-ready, too. Give them a good wash and wax as their sunscreen, and then follow these additional tips.

Maintenance Is Key to Road Safety

Your vehicle works hard during the summer. When the mercury rises outdoors and we’re hit with dose of serious humidity, your vehicle struggles to stay cool while in operation. Make sure it is summer-ready by taking it to your trusted mechanic for a spring checkup. Have the mechanic give your vehicle the once-over to ensure all systems are goo especially your cooling system. You don’t want to get stranded on a hot highway with an overheated vehicle.

Don’t Take Fido Along for the Ride

No matter how tempting it is and no matter how much Fido loves to ride along, don’t take him. Your dog can suffer from heat stroke and death within minutes in a hot car or truck. Don’t be tempted to tie him up in the bed of the truck, either. Dogs can easily be thrown from the bed on rough roads or killed in an accident. Bringing Fido along might be fun for you, but it’s too dangerous for him. Keep him home and in the air-conditioned indoors where he’s safe and cool.

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Pictured: My boss, The Rock Father™ and his canine friend, Harry. In fairness, he said he was picking him up from the kennel.

Or Fluffy for That Matter

Don’t bring the cat, either. The only reason you should load your cat (or dog) up in the car or truck when it’s hot outside is to take her to the vet. Make certain the animal is secured in a crate that is buckled onto the seat and has access to the cool air coming out of the vents. If you cover the crate with a cloth to keep Fluffy calm, use a lightweight cotton cloth and hang it so air can still get through crate’s air openings. Seriously, summer, pets, and cars are a deadly combination.

Don’t Celebrate the 4th Like It’s 1999

Summer ushers in the nation’s most celebrated holiday: the Fourth of July. No matter the holiday, this doesn’t give you an excuse to party like it’s 1999. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 146 people were killed in DUI crashes during the 2015 Fourth of July celebrations. Do you want to become a statistic? No, you don’t, so celebrate responsibly and designate a driver if you’re going to drink. Remember, even a few beers affect your motor skills, and while the Fourth is now behind us, Labor Day is coming up.

Keep it Safe Off-Road, Too

Whether car, truck, or recreational vehicle, keep it safe on the road and off-road. Don’t operate a vehicle that isn’t properly maintained, this includes motorcycles. Keep everything in tiptop shape, including you. When behind the wheel, remain alert and in a defensive driving posture. If you suffer from road rage, get help. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Turn off the cell phone and keep the kids quiet in the back with things that will entertain them.

Make certain all of your vehicles are covered in the event of an incident, too. Whether you’e in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York or anywhere in between, you should be insured. And if you’re in the birthplace of America, you can contact a Washington D.C. insurance agency to discuss the insurance needs of your cars, trucks, RVs, boats, motorcycles, and off-roadsters. Insuring everything as it should be gives you the peace of mind to enjoy your summer recreation without worry. And, to borrow from the tip above, don’t go crazy with the beer and then jump on the ATV. Yes, you’re off the road, but you can still get hurt!

Everyone deserves a little fun during the summer months. Keep it fun with automobile safety on and off the road! Want even more automotive adventures and content for the whole family? Check out Rock Father™ Rides!

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