Why Road Hazards Increase During the Summer Season
The summer season is one that many people look forward to. With longer days and kids out of school, many people plan vacations and road trips to make the most of the warmer days. Now that pandemic restrictions are easing, and more people feel comfortable going out, this could mean there may be more people on the road this year than last. The trend of fatal accidents that peak during the summer season is well documented, and the statistics speak for themselves. According to the latest data from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 9,050 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. during June through August in 2018.
Read on to learn more about why the summer season is one of the most dangerous times of year for motorists.
More Teenage Drivers on the Road
During the summer months, more inexperienced teenage drivers are out on the road. According to WeSaveLives.org, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Here are some facts relating to teenage drivers and motor vehicle accidents during the summer season.
- Teenagers have the highest crash rate compared to other age groups.
- Approximately 260 teenagers are killed in motor vehicle crashes each month during the summer.
- 60% of crashes involving teen drivers are caused by distracted driving
- For every 100,000 Americans under 21, 1.2 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2015.
Due to inexperience, teen drivers may not be able to make quick driving maneuvers to avoid an accident and be less confident in their driving skills than more seasoned drivers.
More people on the road means more traffic congestion. From large trucks and buses to motorcycles and passenger cars, the roads can become jammed with traffic. Weekends can pose even more dangers as vacationers take to the roadways. When it comes to traffic congestion and safety, here are some tips to prevent an accident:
- Drive defensively
- Avoid aggressive driving and weaving in and out of traffic
- Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you (at least one car length)
- Keep your eyes on the traffic ahead
- Keep focused on the road and refrain from distractions such as texting or talking on the phone while driving.
Many road construction projects are done during the summer season since the weather is warmer and a more comfortable working environment. However, not only does road construction often cause traffic jams, but it can also put road construction workers at risk of being involved in a vehicle crash. Road construction accidents happen when drivers fail to abide by the following rules:
- Reduced speed limits
- Lane closures
- Ramp closures
When drivers don’t use caution while driving through road construction areas and ignore the construction laborers working on roadways, it can increase the risk of a severe road construction accident. Here are some driving behaviors to avoid when driving through a road construction zone:
- Avoid speeding up or slowing down significantly when going through a work zone
- Avoid slowing down to look at the constructing work in progress
- Avoid progressing to normal speed limits until you have entirely left the work zone area
- Avoid tailgating the car in front of you
- Avoid changing lanes when driving through a work zone
With more bikers out for a ride during the summer season, it’s critical to be extra cautious and mindful of motorcycles sharing the road. The NHTSA reports that motorcycle rides continue to be overrepresented in fatal motor vehicle crashes, and in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died. Here are some ways motorcyclists can stay safe on the road:
- Always wear a helmet and eye protection
- Wear appropriate clothing and gear
- Obey all traffic rules
- Refrain from drinking and riding
- Ride defensively
More Bicyclists and Pedestrians Are Using Roadways
During the summer season, more bicyclists and pedestrians are sharing the roadways with motor vehicles. Like motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians have virtually no protection and a higher chance of a fatality when colliding with a much larger motor vehicle. When it comes to sharing the road with bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s critical to practice defensive driving and check blind spots before making turns or sudden moves. Here are some tips for drivers to keep in mind when sharing the road with bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists when making turns
- Look before opening your door to avoid a bicycle or pedestrian crash
When You Need Help After a Motor Vehicle Crash, We Are Here For You.
Motor vehicle accidents can result in devastating injuries, and in the most severe cases that cause catastrophic injuries, victims often face life-altering consequences. From traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord injuries and fractures, not only can the healing process be long, painful, and challenging, the medical expenses and other costs involving treatments and therapies can make it that much more taxing to deal with.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, we are in your corner to help you seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys are here to protect your rights and hold the negligent parties accountable for their careless actions. Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC is here to support you through a difficult time.
Learn how we may assist you by calling (502) 242-8872 today.