Although we all have summer fever here in the office, with images of swimming pools and beaches in our heads, we are still working and fighting as hard as ever for our clients. Even though people tend to slow down during the summer heat, unfortunately, traffic injuries and fatalities increase during the summer months. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the months of June through August of 2019 saw an overall 12.4% increase in traffic fatalities compared to the three months prior.
Why are traffic fatalities statistically higher during the summer?
This could be for a variety of reasons. But here are the top six:
1) Teenagers/Inexperienced drivers home for summer. During the rest of the year, young drivers are sitting in a classroom for the majority of the day. Typically, young drivers during the summer have more flexibility in their schedules and therefore are on the road more often.
2) Family Vacation. Many families wait until the summer to take their vacations. Kids are out of school, so they have more freedom as to when they can head out. Whether these families are doing a road trip, or flying to another location and renting a car, they are still out there raking in the miles on the road.
3) Road Construction. A lot more construction happens on our highways and byways during the warm months. This creates more obstacles and challenging situations for drivers to encounter.
4) Vehicle Malfunctions. Sometimes the heat of the summer can wreak havoc on our vehicles. From engine overheating, a higher risk of tire blowouts, to steering wheels simply being too hot to handle, the summer heat definitely has an impact.
5) More Pedestrians and Cyclists sharing the road. With the beautiful weather, more exercise aficionados go outside to try and burn off those extra calories taken in from the bar-b-que the night before by getting in a quick run or walk. Many bicyclists and motorcyclists prefer to ride during the summer when the weather is so nice. From walkers/runners to cyclists and even motorcyclists, there are just more people on the road.
6) Alcohol Consumption. Along with those backyard bar-b-ques and family vacations, many people consume alcohol. Unfortunately, many of those same people then choose to drive when they shouldn’t.
What should you do to keep you and your family safer during these summer months?
As in most cases, keeping you and your family safe while driving this summer is relatively simple.
1) Take your time. There is normally no need to drive over the speed limit. The more you rush, the easier it is to make mistakes while driving and miss important road signs, etc.
2) Ensure that your car maintenance is up to date. Bringing your vehicle into your dealership or trusted mechanic for regular maintenance, especially before any long road trip, is essential.
3) Do not drink and drive.
4) Do not text and drive.
5) Be especially vigilant and observant in construction zones and around pedestrians.
6) Check your insurance to make sure you are covered. Key components to look for: Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage and/or umbrella coverage. Call us if you would like us to review your policy before your big trip!
What should you do if you are in a car accident this summer?
Try to get as much documentation from the accident as possible. Get the accident report from the police and photos of the damage to your vehicle and/or yourself. Then give us a call