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Staying safe in the summer months means being proactive

In the summer, there are hazards that you don't face at any other time of the year. For instance, the heat that causes air to expand in your tires could make them pop if they're already overinflated, and that could lead to an accident. Heavy congestion on the roads could mean drivers unfamiliar with the area cause accidents.

How can you prevent an accident and avoid having to file a claim against a negligent or distracted driver? Here are a few tips.

Start by having your vehicle checked over if you're planning a vacation or long trip. You don't want to be the person who causes an accident. First replace and repair any parts that have issues; the last thing you want is a car to overheat on a 90-degree day, leaving you stranded. Check fluid levels and your tire pressure; make sure your tires are within the recommended PSI ratings.

Remember to drive defensively. You want to travel at a safe speed, and you also need to make sure you have time to react to others. Keep a car-length of space between you and the next vehicle at least for every 5 to 7 kph you travel. This gives you time to stop and see any hazards that may be coming up ahead.

Drive during low-traffic times of day if you can. For example, if you don't need to be on the roads between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., you can probably avoid rush hour traffic, which can be more frantic and congested than other times of day. Keeping this and the above tips in mind can help you reduce your risk of being in a crash due to someone else's negligence and needing to file a claim for compensation.

Source: Driving Tips for Summer Trips, "Canada Safety Council," accessed July 29, 2016

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