While most of us are familiar with the dangers of driving during the winter months, we often don’t think about the dangers of summer driving. Warm weather brings us outdoors after being cooped up all winter, which also means increased risks on the roadways. The number of daylight hours gives us a false sense of security, and with more people hitting the road for vacations, there are simply more cars on the highways.
With kids off from school and families going on vacations and road trips, there’s an influx of cars on the road. Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 29 percent more people die from car crashes in summer compared to winter. In 2019, 9,025 fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred from June to August alone.
So, why are car accidents more likely to happen in the summer? Here are a few reasons:
What Causes More Summer Accidents in Richmond?
Teens Are On Summer Break
Most car accidents happen during the summer because more teenagers are on the road. During summer break, teens have more free time and spend more time behind the wheel.
And while most teens are responsible drivers, they’re also inexperienced. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to be involved in fatal car crashes.
There are a few factors that contribute to this statistic. First, teens are more likely to take risks while driving. They’re also more likely to practice distracted driving. And they’re less likely to wear their seatbelts.
These factors contribute to the increased risk of summer car accidents.
With more people hitting the road for vacation, more cars are on the highways and interstates. This can lead to traffic jams, which can cause drivers to become frustrated and make poor decisions. Most car accidents occur during rush hour, so it’s no surprise that traffic congestion increases the likelihood of a car crash during the summer months.
In addition, increased traffic means a greater chance of getting into a minor fender bender. These accidents often happen when people try to merge into traffic or change lanes. And while they may not seem like a big deal, they can often lead to major accidents.
Road construction is another factor contributing to the increased risk of car accidents during summer. Crews usually work longer hours to get projects done with the warmer weather. This means that there are more workers and vehicles on the roads.
In addition, construction zones often have lane closures and detours. This can cause drivers to become confused and make poor decisions.
If you live in Richmond year round, you know that summer brings in a lot of tourists. People from all over the country come to visit our historic sites and attractions. And while this is great for our economy, it also means that there are more out-of-towners on our roads.
Tourists are often unfamiliar with our roads and traffic laws. This can lead to them making mistakes that can cause accidents.
In addition, tourists are often distracted by the sights and sounds of our city. This can lead to them not paying attention to the road, which increases their chances of being involved in an accident.
People Are Traveling More
Another reason for the increase in car accidents during summer is that people travel more. With the kids out of school, families take advantage of the summer months to go on vacation. This means more cars on the road, which increases the chance of accidents.
People are also more likely to drive long distances during summer. This can lead to driver fatigue, a major cause of car accidents. In fact, drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 6,400 people dying annually, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
So, if you’re hitting the road this summer, be sure to take some extra precautions. Plan your route ahead of time and take breaks often. And most importantly, don’t drive while tired.
People are more likely to be impaired during the summer months. Warmer weather means that people are more likely to drink alcohol outdoors. Alcohol-impaired drivers have slower reflexes and poor judgment and are more likely to take risks.
In addition, summer is a popular time for people to use drugs. This includes illegal and prescription drugs that can impair your driving ability. So, if you’re taking medication, be sure to check the labels for warnings about driving.
Vehicle Equipment Failure
Another cause of car accidents during summer is vehicle equipment failure. With the increased use of vehicles during summer, there’s a greater chance of something going wrong. This could be anything from a blown tire to a malfunctioning fuel pump.
So, it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is in good working order before hitting the road. This means checking the tires, fluids, and lights.
Staying Safe During Summer Months
Summer is a great time to enjoy the weather and spend time with family and friends. But it’s also a time when we must be extra careful on the roads. By following these tips, you can avoid severe injuries and help keep yourself and your family safe this summer:
- Plan your route ahead of time
- Take breaks often
- Don’t drive while tired
- Check your vehicle’s equipment before driving
- Be aware of road construction zones
- Drive defensively
- Never drive impaired
- Obey the speed limit and follow traffic signs
With these tips in mind, you can help reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident this summer. So, get out there and enjoy the weather! Just be sure to do it safely.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Richmond, VA
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, it’s important to contact an experienced car accident attorney. Our Virginia accident lawyers understand the dangers of auto accidents and their impact on families.
The Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.