Avoid an Auto Accident: Help Your Car Beat the Summer HeatAugust 1, 2011
We’ve all seen them on the road with us: limping or disabled cars with white smoke pouring out of the hood—cars that have fallen victim to the summer sun. Overheating is a leading cause of summer car trouble. Sometimes overheating cars are able to crawl to the roadside, but often they’re stalled at stoplights or in the middle of the street, creating a safety hazard for other drivers. Disabled cars cause thousands of debilitating auto accidents each year.
How can you protect yourself and other drivers from the dangers of an overheating car? A few steps of prevention can keep you safely driving for miles. Follow these tips from the auto accident attorneys at Hornberger & Brewer:
- Watch your car’s temperature gauge. If the needle starts creeping toward the red, your car may be in danger of overheating. This is the time to be especially cautious of how you treat your car!
- Go easy on the engine. Try not to tear out from stoplights and try to drive at a steady rate, which will place less stress on the engine.
- Use the AC sparingly. We know summer can be uncomfortable, especially during long car trips, but blasting the air conditioning can quickly cause your car to overheat. Try running the AC on a low level or running it on high until you feel cool, then turning it off and repeating the process as needed.
- Water is not coolant. Water can also harm your radiator. So be kind to your car and don’t use water in place of coolant unless you’re experiencing a fluids emergency.
If you’re on the road and you think your car is overheating, keep a cool head by:
- Pulling over right away. Don’t get stuck in the middle of the street, where you’re at the greatest risk to yourself and others. Turn on your hazard lights and if you have a roadside assistance program, call for help.
- Cranking up the heater. It may seem counterintuitive, but just as air conditioning can overheat your car, running the heater can cool it down. After all, the heater works by drawing heat away from the engine and pumping it into the cabin.
- Exercising caution under the hood. If you feel comfortable enough to check out your car’s radiator, be careful! Even if the engine is cool, plenty of heat can lurk under the radiator cap, which can spray you as super-heated liquid. Always be careful, work slowly, and protect your hands and face.
On the hottest of summer days, even the most vigilant drivers may be unable to keep their cars from overheating. If you’re involved in an auto accident while your car is disabled, you may not be at fault, and you may be entitled to damages. The auto accident lawyers at Hornberger & Brewer can answer your questions and help get you on the road to recovery, especially if you’ve been injured in the accident. Don’t take the law into your own hands—let the hands of our experienced trial attorneys guide you through it. For more information about how we can help in your unique case, contact us.
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