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Summers in BC may entail clear blue skies, beaches, and the company of family – and that is the joy of a road trip in this beautiful province. On the flip side, as traffic increases and summer construction zones emerge, we have all been in the position of trying not to let these circumstances get the best of us.

So how do you beat the heat and not let the stress and frustration get under your skin?

Beyond anything else, it starts by conditioning yourself to the reality that there are some things in your control and other things that you have no control over – so try and let it go.

On a practical level, plan your route in advance by checking out for the latest information on driving conditions, any construction projects that may create delays and weather conditions – and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

Consider the ride itself. Create a music playlist that will allow time to pass – and if you’re not behind the wheel, make sure you have things to entertain yourself like books, portable DVD/Blu-ray players, and even travel-sized board games. These are all great to have whether you’re a solo passenger or you’re in a crowded vehicle.

If traveling with the family and/or young ones, carve out time for meals or a visit to a local attraction to break up the monotony of a long trip.

Not all trips go as smoothly as we would hope. You may encounter drivers who aren’t familiar with a route which may result in unpredictable or erratic decisions, so pay attention, and give them a wide berth. Likewise, you may encounter drivers who may be lacking in any kind of driver etiquette, so again – keep your cool because an accident or altercation isn’t worth it.

We all know that when the summer mood kicks in, we want to drive faster and enjoy the wind, but this rush of adrenaline comes at the great cost of endangering the lives of those around us – so use caution and observe speed limits.

When you park your vehicle, make sure to take your kids or pets along. Even a few minutes can turn a locked car into a sauna. Most vehicle heatstroke victims are three-years of age or younger and this is the time of year when adults need to be extra vigilant.

And one final word of caution. Please exercise due care during these hot months when the forest fire danger becomes extreme – and butt out cigarettes appropriately.

Summer is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest, but with a little planning and caution, it should also be safe for everyone.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected]