Legal Guide

5 Facts About Summer Car Accidents

Summertime brings sunshine and smiles, but it also brings something far darker: car accidents. It may come as a surprise, but summer is the most dangerous time of year to drive. There might not be snow on the roads, but that doesn’t mean they are safer to drive on. Stay aware when you are behind the wheel with these five facts.

1. July and August Are the Deadliest Months

Americans spend the most time in their cars during the summer months. Students are off from school, and families are taking much-needed vacations. People are traveling and exploring while they take advantage of the warm weather.

Don’t let the beautiful weather and happy families fool you. In July and August, the daily death toll from car accidents rises to 116 fatalities per day because of the increased miles spent traveling and the congestion on the roads.

It’s also a time when there are orange barrels and cones littered across America, adding to the confusion and increasing the chances of crashes.

2. The Summer Is Dangerous for Teenage Drivers

July and August are dangerous for most drivers, but they are especially concerning months for teenage drivers. When school lets out, more students – many of them novices behind the wheel – take to the highways. With fewer schedule restrictions and less parental oversight, unfortunately, comes more crashes.

According to one study, fatalities among 16 and 17 year-olds increase 20%, taking the average daily death toll from 87 to 104 during the summer months.

3. Wet Pavement and Rainfall Cause the Most Weather-Related Crashes

Most drivers fear the snow, but there is something else they should be more afraid of: rain.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 70% of weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement, and 46% happen when there is rain. Winter weather related crashes occur at a considerably lower rate.

4. Tire Blowouts and Engine Overheats Are Real Dangers

Among car technicians, May to October is known as “blowout season.” It is during these months when America’s tires seem to explode mysteriously. However, science can explain the blowouts. The most common culprits are heat and underinflated tires.

If a tire is underinflated, the sidewalls flex more, creating further heat and, eventually, a blowout. But that’s not the only thing that gets hot.

If you think it’s sweltering inside your car, consider how warm all its components are including the engine. During the summer months, your vehicle works harder than usual to get you from Point A to B properly.

As a result of the heat in the summer months, vehicles need more coolant to keep all those parts functioning. If something is wrong with the cooling system, a heat wave can push the system over the edge, causing your engine to overheat.

5. Personal Injury Cases Increase

According to Doug Zanes of Zanes Law, “Summer months see an increase in automobile accidents and outdoor activities. Thus, there is also an increase in the number of personal injuries.”

Part of this increase is, indeed, due to the higher volume of car crashes. Many individuals are left with costly medical bills from accidents with no easy way to pay them. As a result, they seek aid for lost wages, medical expenses, and more through personal injury cases.  

Tips for Safe Summer Driving

To steer clear of the hospital, consider these tips.

First, check your car’s fluid levels and tread on the tires. Closely monitor your vehicle’s tire pressure to avoid blowouts.

When traveling, drive cautiously and pay attention to other drivers on the road. Plan ahead to find the best routes, and avoid construction zones. If you are driving, eliminate or minimize distractions. Put your cell phone away, and look at it only when the car is parked and the ignition is turned off. 

During foggy or rainy weather, slow down so that your tires maintain contact with the road. If you hydroplane, take your foot off the pedal and, if possible, keep the steering wheel straight. If you experience a blowout, let your foot off the gas and coast to a stop on the side of the road.

If you are injured in a car accident, seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the litigation process to pay for medical expenses. Don’t ever assume lawyers are too expensive; many work through contingency fees, meaning they only get paid if you receive compensation.

Stay safe on the roads, and enjoy the warm summer sun.

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