5 Reasons Traffic Crashes Increase During the Summer
Throughout the winter, drivers know to be careful when driving in snowy, icy conditions. But once the seasons change and the weather starts to warm up, people often forget that warm, sunny weather doesn’t necessarily lead to safer roads. According to the National Safety Council, fatal car accidents tend to increase throughout spring and summer before peaking in the fall. Wondering what causes this trend? Here are five factors that come into play:
When the weather is nice, people naturally want to go out and enjoy it. Road trips are an annual summer tradition for many people and even if people aren’t traveling, they’re often out exploring areas closer to home. Not only do you have more people on the roads, people who are traveling might be unfamiliar with their surroundings and more likely to act in unexpected ways while they drive.
More Pedestrians & Cyclists
Drivers aren’t the only ones on the road during the summer. Summer is a peak time for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists to be out and about, but unfortunately, that means it’s more likely for pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents to occur. Since these types of people do not have the benefit of being protected by an enclosed vehicle or other safety features like seat belts and airbags, they’re extremely vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities.
Even though there has been an overall decline in the total of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents over the past few decades, pedestrian accidents have actually been trending upward. In 2020, it was reported that there was a 5% increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2019 from 2018. Pedestrian accidents can be particularly common in urban areas where it’s very common for lots of people to be walking around and lots of cars on the road.
More Inexperienced Drivers
Teens can learn to drive at any time of year, but once school is over for the year, they have more time to take driver’s education and work toward the requirements needed to move forward in the graduated licensing process. But that increase of new drivers on the road has created a time of year known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, which refers to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal accidents involving teen drivers tend to increase. During this time of year, AAA estimates more than seven people are killed each day in crashes with teen drivers.
More Road Construction
Michigan drivers are all too familiar with the sight of orange cones and barrels on the road during the summer months. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, road crews are out there trying to repair damaged roads. While many people do their best to avoid road construction projects they’re aware of, it’s not always easy to keep track of where all the construction is. Not only is there the chance of collisions with construction equipment, workers, or other drivers in this area, drivers who are forced to detour through unfamiliar areas could stop unexpectedly while they try to navigate their new route.
More Occasions for Drunk/Impaired Driving
Summer is typically full of celebrations, like weddings, graduation parties, family reunions, and cookouts, just to name a few. Unfortunately, this increases the chances of encountering drunk drivers or drivers who are under the influence of drugs.
It’s also important to remember that the term “impaired driving” isn’t limited to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drowsy driving can also be considered impaired driving and during the summer, there’s a good chance people could be driving after a long day at an amusement park, late at night after a big event, or early in the morning to get a head start on a road trip. If you’ll be doing any of these things, make sure you get a good night of sleep before driving or find a safe place to stop and rest if you start feeling tired. According to the National Safety Council, losing two hours of sleep has similar effects to drinking three beers.
Car accidents can happen in many different ways, but one thing they all have in common is that they all have the potential to cause very serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a Michigan car accident, you don’t want to trust insurance companies to do what’s right for you. Insurance companies have a vested interest in getting you to settle for as little money as possible, and that might not include compensation for all of the care you need. When you work with a car accident lawyer, you’ll have someone on your side who can fight for your best interests. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from an attorney experienced in Michigan car accident law. Contact us today to see how we can help.
Image: iStock / courtneyk