For millions of American families, summer is the time when they pile everyone into a vehicle and go on a long road trip. But that is precisely why summer can also be the most dangerous time to drive because there are so many more vehicles on the road, which increases the risk of car wrecks. If you’re planning a summer road trip, you should be aware of the most common types of road hazards during this season.
1. More Young Drivers
Summer marks the beginning of a long break for schools, which means that more young drivers are going to be on the road. And research has found that young drivers (16 to 21) are far more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than any other driving group. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, “teen drivers age 15 to 20 are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, compared to adult drivers between the ages of 35 and 40.”
Things get so bad in the summer that the Automobile Association of America (AAA) has dubbed those months as the “100 deadliest days”, because statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that an average of 1,000 people die in car accidents involving teenagers during the 100 days after Memorial Day (May 31).
2. Significant Increase In Construction
Many local construction projects are initiated during the summer, because the weather is much more stable and predictable, allowing crews to work long hours without interruption. As a result, construction zones can clog up traffic, and that can lead to a higher number of car accidents due to physical obstacles that can confuse motorists.
3. Tires Expand More Rapidly
Hot weather can have an adverse effect on your vehicle, including overheating the engine. But it can also affect your tires because heat expands the air inside your tires, which can trigger a blowout – especially if your tires are already old or the tread is worn down. According to Popular Mechanics, the high season for tire blowouts occurs from May to October, and in addition to the heat that expands the air inside a tire, overloaded vehicles – which are common when families travel during the summer – are another factor that leads to blowouts.
4. More Triggers For Aggressive Driving
In many parts of the country, summer brings heat and humidity, and that can have a negative impact on driving behavior. When drivers feel uncomfortable in their vehicles, any perceived offense on the road can lead to aggressive driving, which can cause car accidents. Studies have found that 80 percent of drivers have reported at least one incident of aggressive driving, and that number increases in the summer.
Aggressive driving includes behavior such as following closely behind a vehicle in front – also known as tailgating – preventing a vehicle from entering a lane, cutting off other vehicles, honking and even ramming a vehicle.
Research conducted by the Auto Insurance Center found that August is the month with the highest incidences of road rage and aggressive driving. That’s fueled in part by the amount of vehicles on the road during that month, and a higher number of drivers who operate their vehicles after consuming alcoholic beverages.
Excessive heat contributes to normal road delays such as traffic jams, and heightens the frustration of some drivers. All it takes is one driver having a bad day to create an incident that has a domino effect that can lead to a car accident.
An Advocate For Your Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need an advocate who is committed not only to obtaining a fair settlement, but in restoring your health and peace of mind. Contact the lawyers of Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A. at (904) 249-9030 for a free legal consultation, and find out how we can help you get back on your feet.