Summer is here, and with it comes the possibility of a lot of auto travel. From cross-country road trips to beautiful scenic evening drives with the convertible top down, driving is as much a part of summer as swimming pools, barbecues, and fireworks. Here are some summer travel tips to keep you and your family safe on the road during this traffic-heavy time of year.

Pay attention to your engine– Summer means hot temperatures, which can spell overheating disaster for your vehicle. To avoid being stranded on the side of the road with an overheating car, make sure to check your engine coolant, hoses and belts before hitting the road to make sure everything is running as it should be.

Watch for potholes– Summer is definitely pothole season: as the asphalt expands and separates due to the high heat, holes form in the pavement. Potholes can be extremely hazardous to your vehicle and have been known to cause blowouts and serious vehicular damage. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do about potholes is watch out for them and try to avoid them without swerving around them too erratically.

Fellow motorists can be hazardous– The highway in summertime can be filled with a variety of drivers who may not always practice road safety: inexperienced teen drivers out of school for the summer, vacationers who are unfamiliar with the highway exits in your city, and motorists who have just come back from a long weekend or beach party and are too tired (or drunk!) to properly pay attention behind the wheel. Be on alert for any erratic driving behavior you may see, and avoid motorists who are not obeying the rules of the road.

Keep an eye out for animals– Now that the warm weather is here, all types of animals are ending their hibernation periods and heading out in search of food. This means a highly increased risk of hitting an animal who ventures too far into the road. The outcome of hitting an animal with your car can be harmful or deadly for both the animal and the motorist, depending on the animal’s size, so the best course of action is to be cautious and on the lookout at all times for any wildlife who ventures onto the street.

Avoid hydroplaning– Nothing like a summer thunderstorm to cool down the temperature and provide a little afternoon relief from the heat. But the puddles left behind by the storm can pose a serious threat to motorists who are driving too fast for the rainy conditions. Avoid hydroplaning by lowering your vehicle’s speed and proceeding through puddles with caution.

Sherrill Paint & Body Co. is here for Birmingham, AL residents- we can help with all your auto body and paint repair needs. We hope we don’t see you this summer, but if you are involved in a collision, contact us at 205-322-5684 to schedule a free estimate for repair.