The Dangers of Summer Driving

Summer is a time for beach days and road trips.  It is also, unfortunately, home to the most common months in which car accidents occur, for both teenagers and adults.  Here’s a look at the most common causes of summer car accidents and what you can do to help prevent them, as well as keep your family safe this summer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), July and August hold more car crashes and vehicular-related deaths than any other months.  Some of the reasons behind this statistic and why summer driving is so dangerous is that there is an increase of travelers on the road, teen motorists, active road construction, impaired driving, and temperature, which can increase the risk of vehicle equipment failure.

The most common summer car accidents include construction zone accidents, loss of control from a tire blowout, and distracted driving accidents.  Construction means disrupted traffic flow, lane closures, and narrow roads equipped with concrete barriers, poor surfaces, and little to no shoulders.  It is vital to stay focused on the road ahead of you and leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you in these zones in order to prevent a rear-end collision.

Loss of control from tire blowout is another common summer car accident.  Old tires, tires with worn thread, and under inflated tires are highly more vulnerable to blowout under the summer heat.  The road temperatures reach a sweltering 140 degrees fahrenheit, and in addition to heat from flexing rubber of under inflated tires can put stress on the tires and belts, and cause a blowout.  Be sure to keep your tires in good condition this summer to prevent an accident, as well as to keep you and fellow drivers out of harm’s way.

Distracted driving accidents are far more likely in the summer, especially with young adults and those of the Generation Z cohort on the roads.  These individuals are known to have a smartphone attached to them at all times, and are more likely to text, snapchat, and check social media while driving.  Many are also distracted by passengers, singing or moving to music, taking their eyes off the road, or reaching for something.  According to AAA, distraction plays a role in 60% of moderate to severe teen car crashes.  Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers of distracted driving before they get behind the wheel this summer.

Another thing to be conscious of this summer are the number of impaired drivers on the road.  From summer barbeques to holidays to graduation parties, many people do not drink responsibly, and get behind the wheel following these events while under the influence of alcohol.  Stay alert for sloppy driving, and be cautious if you find yourself on the road with a car that seems to be swerving or driving recklessly.

This summer, be sure to stay alert while on the roads, either avoid or drive slowly through construction sites, never drive while impaired, and make sure any and all vehicle maintenance is up to date.  If you follow these guidelines, you can help make the roads safer this summer, and prevent any accidents or harm to others while driving.