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Don't overlook these hazards of summer driving

It might seem like summer is the safest season for driving -- even here in Mississippi where we don't have to deal with the extremely cold temperatures and massive snowfalls that our neighbors in northern states face every winter (and sometimes well into spring). However, summer brings its own unique dangers on the road. Let's look at some of those:

Tourists and other out-of-towners: Whether they're taking a day trip to get a change of scenery, visiting family or on a long vacation in their RV, you're probably going to see more people on the road who aren't familiar with the area. This can lead to unpredictable behavior like sudden stops and attempts to get across the highway into an exit lane.

Teen drivers: More young, inexperienced drivers are behind the wheel in the summer, going to and from work, the beach or running errands for their parents.

Bicyclists and pedestrians: This time of year, drivers have to be especially careful of runners, bicyclists and those out for a long, leisurely stroll with their dogs and/or babies. Even if they're within their own bike or pedestrian lane, watch them carefully for sudden movements and give them plenty of space.

Road construction: This typically increases during the summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. It's essential to follow the directions given on signs and by road crew personnel. Note where there are construction projects on your usual routes so you can allow more time to get to your destination.

Tire blowouts: The hot temperatures and hotter asphalt can lead to tire blowouts. Keep your own tires well-maintained and be prepared to act quickly if a driver near you has a blowout and loses control.

If you suffer injuries in a crash caused by a driver who's not being as cautious as you, make sure that you know what kind of medical bills and other expenses you're going to face both in the short-term and long-term. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you get a fair settlement that will cover all of your expenses and damages.

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