Most people think winter is the most dangerous because of the snow covered icy roads and limited visibility. Although winter driving is dangerous, according to the Department of Transportation, it is not as dangerous as summer.
Driving down the road during a summer heat wave gives you that easy feeling and seems quite serene compared to the stress of driving through a winter whiteout, but it is the most dangerous time to operate a motor vehicle. The summer season is responsible for the greatest amount of fatal car accidents out of every other time of year.
Don’t let a summer accident ruin the rest of your summer. Here are some of the driving hazards to help you have that unforgettable summer:
What Factors Contribute to Summer Driving Dangers?
1. Cyclists, Motorcyclists, and Pedestrians:
Time for those bicycle rides, bikers and long walks. Warm weather means that people are eager to bring their bikes out onto the street after a long winter. Motorcycles and bicycles each bring their hazards to motorists, so be sure to be cautious. Sharing the road is mandatory so be aware of sudden traffic maneuvers made by bikers. Be sure to wear helmets and leave those ear plugs and phones home. Pay attention to the road. Pedestrians in those vacation towns pose an extra risk, so it is crucial to remain alert, especially at crosswalks, so you or a pedestrian does not get hurt or killed. To you pedestrians, leave the ear buds as you, too, must be aware of the approaching cars and bikes.
2. Young Drivers:
School is out, which also means more teen drivers will be on the road. It is a common fact that teen drivers are involved in more car accidents than any other age group. Their lack of driving experience and questionable judgment, unfortunately, presents a greater danger for the rest of us. Remaining alert and driving defensively can help prevent these types of accidents.
Road construction seems never ending in the summer months. The warm weather is a traditional time for construction, but it is important to be extra cautious, so you do not injure another motorist, a worker, or yourself. Injuring a construction worker can be met with severe punishment and remember to slow down. Construction workers are there to help make our roads safer; don’t ignore them. That is why speeding in a construction zone is punishable with extremely expensive fines.
Every week thousands of people flock for their favorite vacation destinations. All of these travelers contribute to road congestion. Heavy traffic conditions contribute to difficult driving conditions, and most of these drivers are unfamiliar with the roads and areas adding to erratic driving for you. Expect traffic jams. Give yourself extra time. You will get there. Road rage is not the place you want to go.
5. Tire Blowouts and Other Vehicle Maintenance:
The summer weather can affect your tires in a negative way. Hot weather causes the air in your tires, among many other things, to expand. If ignored or gone unnoticed this can lead to a blowout in worn tires. It is crucial that motorists inspect their tires on a regular basis during the summer season. Proper car maintenance and tire monitoring can prevent a blowout and potential accident injuring you, your family or someone else.
Nice weather during summer can tempt drivers to speed. Clear roads with the sun shining above can make obeying the speed limit difficult, but following the posted speed limits is important to avoid a potentially deadly accident and costly speeding tickets. Do not risk going too fast and endangering yourself, your passengers, or other motorists. Give yourself extra time and this temptation can be avoided.
7. Those Long Awaited Happy Hours:
Summer months and warm weather bring more holiday weekends and parties. Many people find themselves consuming more alcohol as they mingle with friends, lounge by the pool, or relax at the beach. If you know, you will be drinking be sure to appoint a designated driver or find alternate transportation to make it home safely.
8. Ah yes…the Summer Weather:
Summer months can bring unexpected and dangerous storms. Heavy rain, thunder, and lightning, and hail can cause hazards while driving. They create dangerous road conditions by decreasing visibility and making roads slippery.
Be sure to turn on your head lights, leave an ample distance between you and the car in from of you, and turn on your flashers as an extra precaution. If the storm produces extreme conditions, be smart and pull over until it passes.
Extreme heat can also contribute to summer driving dangers. There is a much greater chance of your engine overheating or you dehydrating as a driver. Pull over if you notice your engine heating up and remember always to carry water with you in case of an emergency.
Don’t be a victim or cause of a summer accident. Plan ahead and take your time so you, your family and friends can have a great remaining summer. Enjoy!!!