Summer is one of the most dangerous times of the year for motorists. Studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that drivers are at a higher risk of getting into a car accident in the summer months. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, car accidents increase, especially among teenage drivers. This time period is also known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, which was named by the American Automobile Association (AAA).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also studies car accidents. According to the NHTSA, teenagers are involved in the highest number of summer car crashes, and 29 percent more people die from car crashes in the summer compared to the winter. The following list contains what factors contribute to summer car accidents.
The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer
During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, young drivers spend more time than usual on the roads, including at night. Accidents involving teenagers happen for many reasons, including:
- Inexperience: Teenagers may not have enough experience to navigate the increased traffic, construction issues, traffic tie-ups, weather events, and other summer driving conditions.
- Distractions: Teenagers sometimes overestimate their ability to drive safely and talk or text, eat, adjust car controls, interact with other passengers, and listen to loud music. Distracted driving is a significant problem among all age groups, but particularly among teenagers.
- Speeding: Speeding causes severe and fatal car accident injuries. A speeding teen driver has less control over their vehicle and cannot stop quickly.
- Impaired Driving. Teenagers who drink alcohol or use drugs will often get behind the wheel, leading to accidents, injuries, and even death.
Road Construction and Traffic
Summer is also known for road construction. No matter what state and what type of roadway, motorists are sure to run into construction. Road construction can lead to traffic back-ups, detours, merges, lane closures, and other conditions that can cause accidents.
Additionally, more drivers, construction, lane closures, and other road conditions can lead to stopped or slowed driving. Any change in roadway conditions can lead to accidents.
In many states, summer brings heavy downpours, causing road surfaces to become slick quickly and causing potential ponding. Summer is also the season for tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, all of which require drivers to seek shelter quickly.
Heavy downpours will often create ponding on the sides of the center of a roadway. Motorists, especially inexperienced drivers, can easily hydroplane from standing water, causing their vehicle to spin out of control. Flooding can also happen quickly in summer. Motorists who drive through flooded roadways can find themselves in danger.
Heat can affect a vehicle’s performance. A car’s battery, cooling system, and tires can all malfunction due to heat and humidity. Tires need to be carefully watched in summer. Underinflated tires can cause a car to spin out of control or make it difficult to brake.
Summer is vacation season, and drivers in vacation hotspots need to be aware of increased tourists. These vacationers are often not familiar with the roads. They may become distracted by sights or while trying to find a particular street or business.
Drivers on a summer road trip may ignore the rules of the road for whatever reason. They may drive too fast, not use turn signals, change lanes erratically, or tailgate the vehicle ahead, leading to the potential for accidents.
Distracted driving has become one of the primary causes of accidents across the United States. Summer driving is particularly distracting as motorists use their navigation systems, talk, text, or take pictures on cellphones.
Summer is the time for celebrations and holidays, but also the time for increased alcohol consumption. Some people still get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs, leading to accidents, injuries, and deaths. If a motorist plans to drink during a summer event, they should arrange for a ride home ahead of time.
Drivers on a summer road trip may push themselves to make good time or compensate for a traffic delay. They may also drive late at night or start earlier in the morning than what they are accustomed to. These conditions can cause drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel.
How can I Prevent a Summer Car Accident?
Drivers who are on a long road trip or just running out to the store around the corner can become a victim of a summer accident. The following tips can help.
- Take it easy and slow. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Remember that unexpected road conditions can come up quickly, so be prepared and always adjust to the traffic conditions.
- Be prepared. Ensure the vehicle is in top working order, all lights and signals work, fluids are topped off, and tires are properly inflated. Inside the car, have an emergency road kit that includes food, water, and a first aid kit.
- Have a plan. Plan for when and where one will take rest and meal breaks and stops for the night.
- Minimize distractions. Ensure that directional information is already entered into the navigation device. Avoid all other distractions.
- Adjust to weather conditions. When the weather looks threatening or becomes adverse, it is important to adapt to the conditions or pull over.
- Buckle up. Ensure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
- Heed the rules of the road. Follow speed limits and other signs, use turn signals, do not tailgate, be mindful of blind spots, change lanes safely, and always drive courteously.
- Talk to teenagers about safe driving. Parents should ensure that their teenage drivers are aware of safe driving techniques.
What Should I Do After a Summer Car Accident?
Despite best efforts, accidents can happen. The following are steps to take after a collision in summer:
- Call 9-1-1 and offer as much information as possible.
- Check for injuries.
- Seek medical help.
- Move the vehicle out of traffic if it is possible.
- Obtain information from the driver and witnesses.
- Take pictures and videos of the accident.
- Cooperate with law enforcement officers.
- Contact a lawyer.
Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Advocate for Victims of Driving Accidents During Summer
There are many causes of summer car accidents, and it is important for drivers to know them. If you were recently injured in a summer collision, contact the Mount Laurel car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman for help. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.