It’s summer, and now’s the time many families and individuals decide to hit the road. Maybe you plan to go on vacation, or perhaps now is your chance to take time off from work and visit your relatives. If you couldn’t do those things last year because of lockdowns, 2021 could be a big travel year for you.
Car trips can be fun during the summer when the weather is nice, and you can stop to check out some interesting roadside attractions. However, there are also possible dangers you should think about, and we’ll discuss a few of those right here.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a respected entity that frequently comes out with facts and figures regarding highway travel. They report that fatigued drivers cause around 100,000 yearly accidents. These accidents injure some drivers and passengers and kill others.
If someone falls asleep for a moment behind a car’s wheel, that’s dangerous, but it’s even worse if the sleepy driver has an enormous eighteen-wheeler bound across the state or country. Commercial trucks are gigantic, and you can imagine how deadly it can be if a driver nods off when they are supposed to be steering one.
You can’t tell which commercial truck drivers haven’t had enough sleep or which ones need another jolt of caffeine. All you can do is give these large trucks a wide berth when you see some traveling in your direction on the highway.
Criminal Activity at Truck Stops
If you pull over at a truck stop when you’re on vacation or headed to see the relatives, you might encounter some colorful characters. Some are truck drivers or motorcycle riders. Others might try to sell you drugs or even rob you.
If you do decide to stop and gas up the car or get some snacks at a truck stop or some roadside convenience store, it’s helpful if you’re in a group when you do so. A robber or some other criminal is not as likely to try anything if there is a whole group of you traveling together instead of one individual stopping on their own.
Keep your wits about you at these places, and don’t venture out into a dark parking lot with no lights or security features, such as cameras. Criminals operate in darkness, and they’re bolder at night, so try not to take any unnecessary risks.
The summers keep getting hotter as climate change drives up the temperatures around the country. Every state sees hotter summers, and some of them in the South and Southwest are brutal during the dog days. You might encounter triple-digit temperatures in July and August.
Make sure your air conditioner works to keep you cool as you travel, and you should also have plenty of water with you in the car. You can bring some from home or stop at gas stations or convenience stores along the route to get some bottled water.
You can also enjoy fruit juices, sodas, and so forth, but water is better for quenching your thirst. You can also bring some Gatorade or other sports drinks that have a lot of the electrolytes your body craves.
On the highway, you know the police are lurking, waiting to catch you if you break any laws. You should be glad they are there since it would be entirely lawless without them.
You might encounter some drivers who are in an awfully big hurry to get wherever they are going. They might speed up to try and go as fast as their vehicles can carry them.
The cops might bust those speeds demons, but if you’re on the highway and you see one approaching you, try to get out of their way. If you’re in the fast lane, and they honk or flash their lights at you, let them by if you can.
You should also refrain from gesturing at them or shouting. You might want to call a speeder a few choice names, but that’s usually a mistake.
You never know if the individual driving or one of the passengers will want to get out of the vehicle and mix things up with you. Getting in a fistfight would be bad enough, but you also never know if these individuals have guns or knives in the car. Road rage can cost you your life, so it’s better to move out of the way and let them pass.