Summer is a time to slow down and enjoy the sunshine, but the warm-weather months also come with more traffic and road hazards. Before you hit the highway for a fun getaway, you should learn about the most common car accidents that happen in June, July, and August, and brush up on safety tips to help you avoid a crash this summer.
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that summer and early fall are the most dangerous times to drive. The IIHS studied crash data collected for a 17-year-period and found an average of 106 fatal accidents occurred every day in the U.S. during July and August.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 30 percent more of fatal accidents occur in the summer months than at any other time of year. Crash reports from the IIHS show that fatal crashes are more common on Saturdays between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and they are the lowest between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Here are the three most common types of summer car accidents.
Tire maintenance is an essential part of keeping your vehicle safe and efficient. Tires that have excessive wear or are compromised with tears or punctures are more likely to fail. Proper inflation is one of the best ways to prevent tire blowouts.
If the air pressure in a tire is too low, the tire stretches beyond its limits. That leads to overheating and damage to the tireâ€™s internal structure. A tire blowout can cause the vehicle to lose control and collide with another vehicle, a structure, or a pedestrian.
Stay calm and avoid slamming on the breaks or overcorrecting the steering wheel if you experience a tire blowout. Try to keep your vehicle straight and remove your foot from the accelerator. Once you have slowed down slightly, steer toward the shoulder of the road when it is safe to do so.
In the northeast, many construction and infrastructure projects happen in the summer when the weather is more conducive for outdoor labor. Work zone accidents are crashes that happen in a work zone or in the area approaching an existing work zone. These can be areas where construction is taking place or maintenance or repairs.
Work zones are dangerous because they change traffic patterns and create detours that may confuse drivers and cause accidents. The National Safety Council reports that more than 44,000 people were injured or killed in work zone accidents in 2020. More than half of these fatalities involved vehicle drivers. Close to 20 percent involved pedestrians, and the remaining fatalities involved passengers and bicyclists.
Before you drive, check your GPS mobile app for updated information on traffic delays, accidents, and construction for a smoother and safer ride.
Distracted driving is another leading cause of summertime car accidents. According to the NHTSA, in 2020, distracted driving claimed more than 3,100 lives on roads across the nation. Cellphone use is a common denominator in these crashes, but it is not the only distraction.
Any object or activity that keeps the driverâ€™s mind, hands, and eyes off the task of driving is a deadly distraction. That includes everything from doing oneâ€™s hair or makeup to turning oneâ€™s head to talk to a passenger in the back seat.
Driving distracted is the equivalent of driving with your eyes closed. You have no awareness of what is happening around you and no control of the vehicle. It only takes two or three seconds for a distracted driver to cause a crash and change lives forever.
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode and pledge to drive distraction-free every time you get behind the wheel this summer.
Road Trip Safety Tips
Whether you are heading to the community pool a few blocks away or to see your grandparents in another state, be mindful of the risks of summer driving. Take a defensive approach, which allows you to scan ahead, anticipate hazards, and react in time to avoid an accident.
Remember that road construction, repairs, and other road projects are common in the summer. Be prepared to slow down when approaching these work zones.
Always keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle in case you break down or become involved in a motor vehicle crash.
Summer heat and sun exposure can be dangerous. Keep plenty of water, non-perishable snacks, a portable mobile phone charger, and flares or warning triangles to alert other drivers to your disabled vehicle.
Be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to arrive. That way, if you get lost or your vehicle breaks down, someone will know to contact the authorities.
If you are involved in a car accident this summer, be sure to get medical attention, gather evidence from the scene, and contact a lawyer for legal guidance.
Middletown Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Fight for Fair Compensation for Clients Injured in Summertime Accidents
If you have been injured in a summer-related collision, one of our experienced Middletown car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can help. Between medical bills and property damage, we know that accidents come at a serious financial cost. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly assist clients across Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.