While many people believe driving in the summertime is a lot easier than driving in the wintertime, they are quite mistaken. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the summer months are the most dangerous time to be on the road. In fact, the month of August had the second-highest number of fatal car accidents in the year says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
There are several factors that contribute to summer being the most dangerous time of the year to drive, such as the following:
- Young drivers – Since school is out, a significant influx of high school and college students will occupy the roads at longer periods throughout the day. Due to the lack of driving experience teen drivers have, they are more likely to take risks such as texting while driving or speeding.
- Tourists – From the Hollywood walk of fame to Disneyland, Southern California is a primary destination for tourists every summer. More out-of-towners on the roads mean an increase in traffic since they are often unfamiliar with the roads and highways, resulting in slow and erratic driving.
- Cyclists and bikers – Warmer weather also means more bicycles and motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, they are often difficult to see. Furthermore, motorists are not actively looking out for bikers and cyclists, leading to a crash.
- Construction – The summer season is also construction time. Road construction can cause delays, closed traffic lanes, detours, and changes to normal driving conditions, which can all result in collisions, especially fender-benders.
- Vehicle malfunction – Roadside breakdowns occur frequently during summer travel. The heat can cause engines to overheat and tires to expand, increasing the risk of a malfunction and a subsequent accident.
- Sun and excess heat – The summer heat, especially in California, can be brutal, resulting in dehydration and drowsiness. Additionally, the heat can make us more susceptible to road rage.
So whenever you get behind the wheel this summer, keep these common dangers in mind to avoid being involved in a collision and suffering injuries.