During the winter, treacherous travel conditions are common, and drivers react accordingly by reducing their speed and staying home when weather conditions are unfavorable. However, those same drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident on a summer day. According to AAA, the unofficial summer season – Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend – is the most dangerous stretch of the calendar year for American motorists.
Not only do seven of the deadliest days of the year for vehicle travel occur during this 100-day period, but the National Center for Health Statistics maintains that summertime car accidents will kill more 15-to 20-year-olds than any other cause.
The statistics are cause for alarm. Cherry Hill car accident lawyers note that, in many instances, car accidents in New Jersey might be avoided if drivers would take simple steps to ensure a safer ride. As motorists make their way to vacation adventures or summer get-togethers with friends, they may be tempted to engage in texting or to use their cell phone’s GPS for directions – which may lead to disastrous results.
Distracted driving car accidents kill thousands of Americans annually according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Have a passenger guide you to your destination, and pull over if a text message or phone call simply cannot wait.
Alcohol and Dehydration
From barbecues to the beach, alcohol is frequently available in abundance during the summer, but drivers must show moderation and restraint. Drinking and driving is never advisable, but the dehydration which results from warm weather makes imbibing especially dangerous. A dehydrated driver – particularly one who has spent long periods in the sun – will metabolize alcohol differently, requiring fewer drinks over a shorter period of time to become dangerously intoxicated.
Accordingly, the NHTSA maintains that accidents caused by drunk driving rise dramatically over the summer. If you intend to drink alcohol at a summer gathering, appoint a designated driver.
Other hazards unique to the summer season deserve careful consideration from drivers. Excessive heat can increase the likelihood of a tire blowout, and cool rain on a hot roadway can lead to hydroplaning. Additionally, as municipalities take advantage of the long stretches of dry weather afforded by summer, drivers should stay alert for road construction projects.
Lastly, it should be noted that summer is the prime season for motorcycle enthusiasts to hit the open road. Drivers should stay alert and use caution while driving in the vicinity of a motorcycle.