The icy, snowy roads of Minnesota winters are long gone for the summer. But, unfortunately every season comes with its own set of hazards and distractions.

Whether you keep up your same commute over the summer or have longer treks planned, there are specific ways you can prepare your car for summer heat. Taking precautions before and as you drive can also protect you from falling victim or to a disastrous car accident.

Don’t be selfish

With school being out for the summer and others taking advantage of warmer days with time off from work, you can expect roads will have more cars, bikers and pedestrians. As a driver, you should always be alert behind the wheel for both your safety and the safety of those on the road with you. This can include not driving after too many drinks and not engaging in distractions like texting while driving. Additionally, it’s important to be extra mindful of smaller motorists and travelers utilizing the road or crosswalks. Pay extra attention to areas near biking trails and parks.

Watch the weather

Although, Minnesota drivers can relish in snow-free roads during the summertime, rain, hail and flash floods can still take place. Sometimes, it can be sunny one second, then rainy the next. To prevent having to drive in weather that severely impacts your visibility, you can take a few minutes to check the forecast before backing out of your driveway.

If the rain is steady but manageable, be sure to use your wipers, slow down and keep your distance between other drivers. It may feel like you are in control, but it takes much longer to break in wet conditions. So, if you have to suddenly break due to another driver’s action or an animal crossing the road, it’s best to give enough time and space to do so to prevent accident or injury.

Perform seasonal maintenance

Another way to protect yourself on the road, is by keeping up with car maintenance. The summer heat can impact your car fluids and oils, engine and tires. Getting regular check-ups at your local auto shop can save you from sitting on the shoulder waiting for help. Plus, checking on your tire pressure as frequently as possible can help you dodge a tire blowout, which can be really dangerous at high speeds.

Instead of having to stay indoors to heal from car accident injuries while it’s nice outside, you can try and take note of potential driving hazards and servicing your car ahead of time.