Summers can be the perfect time to hit the beach or pool, but travelers should also pay close attention to the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. Vacationers traveling by car should take extra precaution to ensure safety for their vehicle, passengers and others on the road.

Thunderstorms are more likely to occur in the summer than any other time of year. Driving through inclement weather is dangerous, but sometimes drivers don’t have the time or opportunity to pull over. In those cases, it’s even more important that drivers follow some simple safety suggestions that could mean the difference between life or death on the road.

Follow these tips for safe driving in summer thunderstorms:

1. Buckle Up
This might seem like a no brainer, but unless your car makes an annoying beeping noise when the seat belt isn’t fully buckled, then buckling up might be easy to forget. Studies have shown that drivers who wear their seat belts are significantly more likely to survive in a crash.

2. Slow Down
It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather. When the roads are slippery, drivers should take extra caution in navigating safely. Be sure to pump the brakes.

3. Don’t Tailgate
Remember that old three-second rule from Driver’s Ed? This still applies. In fact, we recommend doubling that time.  Following too closely behind the car ahead of you increases the likelihood of fender benders and other accidents.

4. Turn on Your Headlights
This tip applies even in overcast conditions. Not only do headlights help you see the road, but they will also help other drivers see you.

5. Don’t Go Through Moving Water
If you can’t see the ground through the water, your car could be swept off the road. Don’t risk it. Instead, seek higher ground.

6. Use Your Hazard Lights
Flashing hazard lights warn other vehicles to proceed with caution. These lights can be especially useful in heavy rain, but should always be used when pulling over on the side of the road.

7. Tune Into Traffic & Weather Reports
Many AM radio stations offer live, up-to-the-minute reports of weather and traffic. Keep the radio on for service alerts and other important information about the roads.

8. Activate Four-Wheel Drive
Many cars, such as my Subaru Legacy, come standard with all-wheel drive. Especially useful in hazardous weather or off-road adventures, all-wheel drive can provide greater vehicle stability and control, enhancing the ease of navigation.

Following these simple tips will keep you safe on your next adventure. Your safety should always take precedent over the need to be somewhere at a certain time. When in doubt, pull over to the side of the road when driving conditions become exceptionally severe. I promise the beach will still be there tomorrow.