This is our first in a four-part series about summer travel safety.
Summer is a great time of the year when many families take long road trips and ensure fun gatherings. But, our California car accident attorneys are well aware that it is also a dangerous time to get on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), August had the highest number of deadly car accidents compared to any other month in 2013 with 3,136. July and September came pretty close with more than 2,900 fatal accidents. While we often think of winter as a dangerous time, with the holidays and tricky weather such as rain and snow, summer tends to be the more hazardous season for drivers.
So, just why is summer so dangerous? Here are a few reasons:
• Families on vacations: As we know, summer is the time many families across the United States choose to go on long road trips. Our roadways become much more congested during this time of year. Excess traffic not only makes driving harder, but also presents situations that involve road rage. So, if you are planning on taking a trip, particularly around long weekends or holidays, plan ahead and look out for impatient drivers.
• Teen drivers: According to AAA, the 100 days after Memorial Day, which we just passed, are the most dangerous for teen drivers. During this time, the average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 increased by 16 percent each day compared to other days of the year. Teens are also less experienced when it comes to driving and tend to be more distracted by electronic devices or fellow passengers.
• Tire blowouts: Summer can be rough on your tires. Hot weather causes the air inside the tires to expand and lead to a blowout. It is important that you check your tires on a regular basis during the summer months. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread. Tire blowouts often lead to devastating crashes during the summer.
• Pedestrians and bicyclists: Summer is a time when there are more pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists on our roadways. Negligent motorists can cause serious problems for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists especially when they fail to yield the right of way or drive distracted.
• Road construction: This is also the time when there is a lot of road construction going on due to the extended daylight hours. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), construction and maintenance work zones averaged 669 deaths each year from 2007 to 2012. It is important that motorists exercise caution when they drive near or around construction zones.
So, if you are taking that long road trip this summer, be aware of these and other dangers. Have a wonderful summer!