Security and Safety

The Texas Driver’s Summer Road Safety Guide

By Abi Grise Morgan 8.2.21

Summer takes its toll on Texas roads, vehicles, and drivers. First and foremost, the family car transforms into an oven, threatening both the safety and comfort of its passengers. Then, potholes and construction pop up seemingly around every corner. To top it off, more motorcyclists and pedestrians are out and about during the summer.

Whether you’re squeezing in one last road trip or merely want to stop scorching your hands on your own steering wheel, these summer road safety tips will help you stay safe when it’s hotter than hot.

Check Your Fluids

It’s not an uncommon sight on Texas highways: a vehicle on the side of the road, engine in flames, driver calling the fire department in a panic. Over 30% of fire fatalities in Texas take place in vehicles. Don’t let this be you. Keep your engine from overheating; check to make sure your radiator is in shipshape condition and well stocked with coolant.

Prevent Blowouts

You may remember this from grade school: Hot air expands, and cold air contracts. That means during the summer months, tire pressure goes up. During long trips down the highway, that air can heat and expand even more. Double whammy! Check your tire pressure before a long trip and let some air out if needed.

Keep Your (Interior) Cool

Oh, how quickly a car turns into a sauna in Texas. A reflective windshield cover is worth its weight in gold. Make it a habit to keep yours up when you’re parked. Kids in tow? Install window shades in your backseat and keep a cooler of chilled drinks available for long voyages. Never ever leave your kids or pets in a parked car. Not even for a minute.

Is the A/C A-OK?

Is your A/C on full blast, yet struggling to keep you cool? Your car’s internal airflow filter could be clogged, making the engine work harder to circulate cool air. Next time you roll in for an oil change, ask them to check your filter. Your car’s temperature — and your gas milage — may improve with a replacement.

Share the Road

One motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads — and summer is the deadliest season of all. Always look twice before changing lanes and give motorcyclists lots of space. A third of motorcycle fatalities occur at intersections. Never run red lights and be on the lookout for motorcyclists.

Remember that you’re also sharing the road with cyclists, pedestrians, and others, especially in dense cities and in rural communities. Check out this guide to sharing the road with all kinds of Texas drivers.

Watch for Construction

Summer is a busy time for road crews. Keep your eyes peeled for construction zones and abide by the construction zone speed limit, even if you don’t see workers present. There could be workers nearby — or a police officer more than happy to write you a hefty ticket.

Mind the Potholes

Most potholes are formed in spring, when water seeps into cracks in the road, freezes, expands, and breaks the road apart. They’re common across Texas — so common that road crews can’t repair every one by the end of the summer. Always assume potholes are bigger than they appear — they likely are — and navigate around them to prevent tire troubles.

Review Your Policy

Contact your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to make sure your auto policy is up to date and has you covered for every road trip and summer adventure ahead of you. Happy travels!

For road trip inspiration, check out our guides to Texas’ best roadside stops, fruit stands, and mile-high pies, and don’t hit the road without queueing up our Texas road trip playlist.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance