This weekend marks the official beginning of summer. For many of us living in the Midwest, the next few months are a time to travel, go on vacations, and get out of the house for some fun in the sun. Still, while these warm months are certainly some of the most enjoyable, when it comes to traffic fatalities, they are also the most deadly. According to some of the most recent data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), July featured the single highest number of fatal automobile accidents of any month in 2012, with crashes claiming more than 3,000 lives. August and June were not far behind, ranking as the second and third most dangerous driving months of the calendar year.
But why is summer so dangerous; Beautiful weather, no snow, no sleet, no ice? On the surface, it is hard to understand why summer driving could possibly pose such an issue, but upon closer inspection, it actually makes perfect sense.
School is Out-With high schools emptying their hallways for the summer, droves of inexperienced teenage drivers are hitting the roads every day. Various studies have shown that teens are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than other age groups, and this can mean more dangerous driving for all of us.
Vacation Season Increases Road Congestion-No matter what your favorite summer vacation or road trip destination may be, it’s more than likely that you have been involved in your fair share of summer traffic jams to get there. With so many people traveling at once, roads are far more congested, and impatient drivers are everywhere, which increases your likelihood of being involved in an accident. To make matters worse, vacation drivers are often unfamiliar with the roads they are traveling on, and this can lead to erratic or unpredictable driving.
More Bicycles and Motorcycles-Cyclists and bikers love taking advantage of the warm summer weather and the open road just as much as anyone else. However, these two groups are not as easily spotted as individuals riding in passenger vehicles, nor are they as well protected, and as a result, they are far more susceptible to fatal accidents.
Construction Zones Are Everywhere-Harsh Midwestern winters make summertime construction season. Detours, narrow roadways, the presence of maintenance workers, and various other factors make driving through these sections of the road potentially hazardous. Always make sure to slow down and use extra caution in construction and work zones.
Overloaded Vehicles-On long road trips or extended stays away from home, we tend to fill our cars to the brim with supplies and passengers. When accidents do occur, this excess can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious injuries. (Esurance, Allstate)
There are a lot of aspects of summer that are amazing, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can be a dangerous time to be on the road. Our lawyers hope that by knowing what you might encounter, our readers may be able to better keep themselves safe and enjoy the summer season.