Now that summer is in full swing, Americans throughout the country are spending more time outdoors and going on vacations with loved ones, especially road trips. However, these warm months of the year also result in more car accidents than any other season.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the summer and early fall are considered the most dangerous times of the year on roads throughout the United States. August and September are often the peak months for car crashes, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Winter dangers are typically more obvious, causing most people to instinctively take precautions to avoid or overcome them. However, the dangers of summer driving are more deceptive compared to icy and snow-filled roads.
The following are the most common dangers of the summertime:
- Increase of teen drivers on the road - Since teens are out of school, more high school and college students spend more time on the road during the week than driving during the school year. Hence, more inexperienced motorists are on the road for longer periods of time, which increase the risk of car accidents.
- Increase of vacationers on the road - Whether family members are visiting from out of town or you’re going on a road trip, vacationing drivers are typically unfamiliar with the roads, resulting in more erratic and slow driving.
- Increase of roadway construction - In order to complete as much work prior to the arrival of winter, construction crews take advantage of the warmer summer months before they must put their work on hold when it gets cooler. Roadway construction zones can result in closed traffic lanes, detours, temporary signs or signals, and other changes to normal driving conditions. These more complicated driving conditions can increase the risk of crashes.
- Increase of bicyclists and motorcyclists - Many bikers and cyclists take advantage of the warmer weather, which means drivers of motor vehicles must be aware of the presence of bicycles and motorcycles on the road. If a motorist fails to be ever vigilant of bikers and cyclists, it can result in a devastating accident since these individuals are less protected than drivers of motor vehicles.
- Increase of auto part malfunctions - The high temperatures can affect the equipment on a motor vehicle. For example, the air inside tires naturally expands with heat, which can cause tire blowouts and, in turn, car accidents. Additionally, if you rely on your car’s air conditioning to stay cool, there is an increased chance of your engine overheating.
- Increase of road rage incidents - Due to more traffic, in addition to dehydration from excessive temperatures, can result in road rage and other unsafe driving practices.
By understanding what you might encounter on the road, you can stay safe and avoid being involved in a collision and suffering injuries.