Summer is prime time for road trips and vacations. Unfortunately, it can also be prime time for car accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks vehicle accidents and trends. Their 24-year study of car accidents revealed the following sobering statistics:
- Twenty-nine percent more people die of summer car accidents than of winter car accidents.
- Teens are the age group most involved in summer car accidents.
Clearly, summer driving and teen summer driving cause more accidents than at any other time of the year. What is the reason?
The Top Reasons Why Car Accidents Increase in Summer
Following are the top reasons more vehicle accidents occur in summer than any other time of year:
Teens are out of school. With more free time comes more teens on the road. Teens are often inexperienced drivers and may have difficulty navigating some of the driving circumstances most often found in summer, including the following:
- Increased traffic on the roads from tourists, vacationers, and others.
- Construction. Lane closures, merges, yields, detours, and traffic back-ups related to construction are not always easy for an inexperienced driver to navigate safely.
- Unfamiliarity with roads. As teens explore new and different roadways, they may drive unsafely for road conditions or be taken by surprise by sharp turns or other unexpected circumstances.
- Driving at night. Teens may not be accustomed to driving after dark and may find it difficult to follow the roadway, especially if they have friends in the car or are speeding.
Teen drivers are also notorious for driving with distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, snapping pictures, loud music, eating, bantering with friends, and other behavior. Some may even drink or do drugs and drive, a no-no for motorists of any age.
Impaired driving. Summer is often the time for celebrating holidays and time away from work. Unfortunately, some people celebrate with alcohol or drugs and get behind the wheel, causing harm to themselves and others.
Road construction. Summer is a time for road construction projects, no matter where one travels in the United States. Construction leads to traffic tie-ups, lane closures, merges, yields, and detours, resulting in impatient motorists, unsafe driving, and accidents.
Distracted driving. Although distracted driving is a problem year-round, summer presents unique circumstances. For example, a long drive to a vacation destination could be filled with whiny and noisy children, ringing cell phones, loud radios or videos, and frequent glances at texts or GPS directions. Interesting or beautiful scenery can also cause a driver to take their eyes off the road.
Drowsy driving. Everyone wants to get to their destination in good time. But sometimes, that desire takes a toll on drivers. They may not get adequate sleep before driving, drive too long without taking a break, drive late into the night, or get sleepy from staring at long stretches of the roadway for hours.
Car problems. Summer can wreak havoc on a car’s battery, cooling system, tires, and other parts. Any type of malfunction can cause a driver to suddenly lose control of the vehicle or the vehicle to stop without warning.
Weather. Most states experience more severe weather in the summer, including heavy downpours, thunderstorms, damaging winds, tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Flooding, blinding rains, slick roads, blowing debris, and other adverse conditions caused by weather can increase accidents. In addition, many weather conditions require drivers to seek immediate shelter.
More people sharing the road. Pedestrians and bicycle riders are prevalent in the summertime, as are tourists who may be enjoying the sights and attractions. Summer drivers need to adjust their driving behaviors and exercise increased caution to ensure everyone’s safety.
Motorcycles. Statistics show that motorcycle accidents abound in the warmer months, often resulting in severe injuries or death. Some drivers may claim they did not see the motorcycle, but that is never a defense for causing an accident.
Speeding and other violations. From ignoring speed limit signs to tailgating, changing lanes unsafely, and not using turn signals, summer drivers can cause many accidents. Highway driving or motoring in a new city are not excuses for unsafe driving.
What Should I Do After a Summer Car Accident?
Following are tips following an accident in the summer or any time of year. Many of these tips can help in an eventual lawsuit when a negligent driver injures a person.
- Everyone should stay calm. Someone should call 911 and request police and medical assistance.
- The driver and passengers should be checked for injuries. One can help to the best of their capabilities, but it is important not to cause further harm.
- If possible, the vehicle and passengers should be moved out of the way of traffic. Everyone should stay inside the vehicle if it is not too heavily damaged.
- The driver should talk with bystanders or other witnesses who may have stopped to help. The driver should ask them for statements and get their contact information.
- Someone should take pictures and video of the accident. As many images as possible should be recorded, including damage to and location of vehicles, bodily injuries, strewn car parts, and road and weather conditions.
- Everyone should accept medical help. It is important to take help from emergency medical technicians on the scene, even if injuries are not apparent. Victims should seek help after an accident as well. Injuries can sometimes take a while to surface or may not be readily diagnosed just after an accident.
- The driver should cooperate with law enforcement officers. The driver should be honest but not admit guilt or fault.
- Motorists should not accept a settlement from an insurance company. Even though it may be tempting, it is important to know that insurers never offer total compensation for a victim’s injuries.
- The driver should contact an experienced car accident lawyer to understand the compensation for which victims are entitled under the law.
Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Fight for Victims of Driver Negligence at Any Time of Year
No one should suffer the emotional, physical, and financial devastation a car accident can bring when another driver is negligent. Every victim has the right to be compensated for the damages they sustain, including medical bills, loss of income, reduced earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering. Whether it is summer, winter, spring, or fall, the Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova will advocate for your rights. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County and Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.