Extreme heat has continued to plague Georgia this summer. Severe summer heat can place a heavy toll on cars if proper precautions are not taken. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of disabled vehicles on the state’s highways. State Troopers and Motor Carrier Officers  will be checking on stranded motorists and offering assistance throughout their daily patrols.

Extreme heat and humidity, combined with the heat generated by your vehicle, can be a strain on your engine, transmission and cooling system. Keep your vehicle in tip-top running condition by inspecting belts, hoses, filters, and fluid levels. Repair any defects immediately. A quick check before you begin a trip, no matter how short, can prevent you from becoming a stranded motorist.

Tires should also be kept in good shape. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for proper tire pressure. Hot weather, warm roadways, and poorly maintained tires can contribute to tire failure that could possibly cause a serious traffic crash.

Troopers are also reminding drivers not to children and pets in unattended vehicles. The sun can heat a vehicle to dangerous temperatures in a matter of minutes. When you exit your vehicle, get in the habit of regularly checking the back seat and back floor area for children and pets. Also, teach children that a car or truck is not a play area and be sure to lock your vehicle.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you travel the roadways this summer:

  1. Wear your seat belt. Seat belts save lives. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up before you hit the road, no matter how short the trip.
  2. Properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age and height.
  3. Obey the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the amount of available time needed to avoid a crash. Speed continues to be one of the major contributing factors in fatal traffic crashes that state troopers investigate.
  4. Avoid distracted driving. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off of the road, such as texting while driving.
  5. Be courteous to other drivers. Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.