Many car owners feel as if the summer is the safest time for them to drive due to lack of snow and ice on the road. To the contrary, driving in the summer can be just as dangerous as driving in the winter. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported more than 2,900 summer accident fatalities occurred in 2013. In fact, thousands of Americans lose their lives each summer in motor vehicle accidents. With Summertime fast approaching, the following are five dangers of driving in the summer that you should try to avoid:
- Holiday Madness
The holidays are some of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. Many people are distracted while rushing to see their family members and attend special events. The rush, unfortunately, can result in devastating crashes. Some of the holidays that fall during the summer months are Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day. One preventive strategy that a person can use for the holidays is to drive to one’s destination early in the morning when not as many vehicles are on the roads.
2. Increase in Inexperienced Drivers
The teens get out of school in the summertime, which means many inexperienced drivers are on the road. Teens drive during rush hour as well as night to attend parties and other events. According to the AAA Foundation, teen auto accidents are at an all time high. Inexperienced drivers are more prone to drive while distracted. Teens tend to text message and talk on the phone or eat while they are driving. Some teens also illegally indulge in alcohol consumption and drive under the influence which all too often has deadly consequences.
3. The Alcohol Factor
As stated above, a percentage of teens drink alcohol or use drugs prior to driving. This impairs their judgement and affects their reaction times, leading to accidents. Summertime drivers have to be extra careful when they are on the road on the weekends. IIHS statistics show that more than 1.2 million teens engage in heavy drinking which contributes to the number of summertime accidents. This in turn results in serious injuries or even fatalities. Practice defensive driving at all times.
4. Sun Glare and Sun Issues
Another problem that tends to happen in the summer time is sun glare issue. It can make it difficult or impossible to see the road, obstructions, or other vehicles. The worst times in the summer for sun glare are about an hour before sunrise and an hour before sunset. However, the biggest problem with sun glare is that it can occur at any time.
5. Traffic Jams
Vehicles in traffic jams are very vulnerable to accidents. This is true for several reasons:
- People become bored and then distracted and fail to notice the car in front of them has stopped. They subsequently rear-end that car.
- Motorcyclists “split” lanes and ride between slowed and stopped cars. A car that changes lanes in that situation, or a driver steps out of their vehicle, can easily collide with the motorcycle.
What to Do About a Summertime Crash
A car accident attorney Des Moines IA relies on can establish fault in the other party and recover your damages. The compensation can cover your medical bills, medication costs, therapy sessions, vehicle repairs and so much more. Many attorneys do not charge anything for their first consultation. Contact one immediately if you have suffered a serious injury in a crash that was not your fault.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into summertime driving hazards to avoid.