The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is sometimes referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days”, and for good reason; statistically, summer is the most dangerous time to be a driver. With those 100 Deadliest Days quickly approaching, we wanted to explain the hazards that summer driving brings and remind you of how to stay safe during your travels.
It may be surprising to you that summer is the most dangerous season for driving. Without the black ice, snow, and long nights of the fall and winter, driving in the summer seems wholly un threatening. However, there are many factors that make the summer months among the most dangerous for motorists.
The warm weather can make cars seem confining. To take advantage of the sunshine, many opt to walk, or to ride bicycles and motorcycles. With more pedestrian and two-wheel traffic on the roadways, crashes can happen when motorists are not alert.
Summertime is the most popular time of the year for construction projects. Work zones are among the most dangerous areas of our roadways; driver negligence and confusion in the jumble of orange cones and detours account for hundreds of collisions every year.
Additionally, the heat takes a toll on our cars. Engines can overheat and fluids can run dry without proper maintenance. The hot air causes the air inside of our tires to expand- causing dangerous blow outs. Car troubles can be pose a major hazard to your safety, and the safety of other motorists.
These car troubles affect vehicles of all sizes- meaning that tractor trailers are especially susceptible to tire blow outs and overheating in hot temperatures. The size of these vehicles makes trucks uniquely dangerous to other motorists. Furthermore, the size of tractor trailers makes quick stopping and careful maneuvering difficult for the drivers. With the increased traffic in construction zones and on the roadways, collisions can happen when motorists do not allow for extra space between their vehicles and tractor trailers.
Most importantly, summertime means that school is out. Without school, there is an influx of teen drivers on the road. Teen drivers are inexperienced; they tend to be more distracted and more inclined to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. According to AAA, 16-17 year old drivers are 3.9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash and 2.6 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Many families choose to vacation during summer break. The roadways become congested with motorists from all over the country who are unfamiliar with their routes. As a result, these motorists tend to drive erratically or dangerously slow. Furthermore, these motorists tend to travel with children and rely on technology for navigation. Not only are vacationing motorists unfamiliar with the roadways, but they also tend to be distracted- endangering themselves and others.
When you are traveling locally or far distances this summer, please be aware of these dangers. We urge you to keep these safety tips in mind during your commutes over the next few months:
- Have your car regularly serviced, and make sure to check your tires and fluid levels before each trip
- Buckle up and encourage your passengers to do the same
- Use size-appropriate booster and car seats for younger passengers
- Stay alert and pay particular attention on congested roadways or in construction zones
- Slow down in poor weather conditions
- Maintain a safe distance from tractor trailers, especially in dense traffic conditions
- Look out for pedestrians- share the road with bicyclists and motorcyclists
- Talk to your teens about distracted driving and make sure that they exercise safe driving behaviors
Be safe on the roadways this summer! Exercise caution and practice these safety trips daily. Crashes can happen to even the most cautious drivers- if you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, please call the attorneys at Rehmeyer & Allatt for a free consultation.