Summer is a great time to take a family vacation or drive to visit long-lost relatives who live far away. Unfortunately, your chances of getting into an accident go up during the summer. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), July and August see the most fatalities and accidents of all the months in the year. July 3 and July 4 are also two of the deadliest days in the year. Here are the reasons that driving during the summer is just plain more dangerous than driving during the other seasons. For more information, call us today at (718) 588-2000 to speak to a New York City car accident lawyer.
The Roads Are More Congested in the Summer
There are many more people out driving during the summer. For one thing, many families are headed out to the beach or on a road trip. Many employees also take a vacation during the summer, so instead of being stuck in an air-conditioned cubicle, they are out on the road, adding to congestion.
Many drivers from out of state coming into New York City are also totally unprepared for driving in a city. If they do not know where they are headed, they can make rash and dangerous decisions, or they can drive so slowly that they create bottlenecks. Lack of familiarity with roads increases the chances of an accident occurring.
Teens are also out during the summer when they would be in school the rest of the year. Unfortunately, teenagers are also incredibly dangerous drivers. They take more risks and have far less experience, so they can easily cause accidents that other drivers would not. Data has shown that young drivers are the most prone to getting into accidents:
- Six teens die daily because of motor vehicle accidents.
- Although people ages 15 to 19 are only 7 percent of the population, they are responsible for 11 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries.
- The risk of a motor vehicle crash for drivers ages 16 to 19 is higher than for any other age group.
With so many people on the road, it is inevitable that there will be crashes and fender benders. However, you can minimize the risks by giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination and driving defensively. If you need to check email or texts, remember to pull over to the side of the road or into rest stops before doing so.
More Bicycles and Motorcycles on the Streets
The warm weather is a magnet for bicyclists and motorcyclists who want to get out and enjoy the road after being cooped up during winter and spring. Not only do they add to congestion, but bicycles and motorcycles are hard for other drivers to see.
Any dark-colored motorcycle, for example, can blend in with the vehicles and the road around you. As a result, some motorists drive straight into motorcyclists and bicyclists simply because they could not see them. To protect yourself, always check your blind spot before passing someone on the freeway, and keep your eyes peeled for bicyclists to come up on your right-hand side.
More Road Construction Occurs in the Summer
It is harder to repair roads in the dead of winter or even in the spring. As the weather improves, you shouldn’t be surprised to see road crews out fixing potholes, marking lanes, or widening shoulders. However, construction work zones are accident magnets.
Work zones often take drivers by surprise, and many are unable to swerve or stop in time to avoid striking construction machinery or workers. Work zones can also cause bottlenecks that might make drivers angrier or more reckless as they try to make up lost time.
The Heat Can Cause Problems
The intense New York heat can cause problems for drivers and their vehicles. If you are not sufficiently hydrated, your thinking can become impaired. It is easy to make poor judgments out on the road, which can increase your chances of a crash. Always remember to be well hydrated and carry a bottle of water with you on long trips.
The heat also negatively affects parts of your vehicle. For example, the heat can cause the air in your tires to expand, leading to blowouts. After a blowout, many drivers lose control of their vehicles, ending up in a wreck. The heat might also cause your engine to overheat, which can lead drivers stranded on the side of the road as they wait for the vehicle to cool down.
Summer Holidays Encourage Drunk Driving
The Fourth of July and Labor Day are the perfect times to get together with family and friends. In addition to eating grilled foods, many people throw back a few beers or other alcoholic beverages. If they get behind the wheel of a vehicle, then their impaired driving can dramatically increase the odds of a car crash.
Also, some sporting events in the summer are occasions of revelry. The World Cup in 2018, for example, should inspire long nights of celebration (or commiseration) around a pint of ale. To protect yourself, exercise caution when driving at night. Drunk drivers tend to drift into oncoming traffic, so drive close to the shoulder and be prepared to take defensive action.
More Children Create More Distractions
Young children who should be in daycare or school now are in vehicles, being transported around. Unfortunately, some young children get very antsy and are difficult to control, especially during long trips. As a result, children can be a distraction to drivers who should remain focused on the road. If your child becomes distracted, you should pull over and take a break. Sometimes, children just need to stretch their legs for a few minutes before continuing with the trip.
Injured in a Wreck? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York City
If summer 2018 is like every other summer, then plenty of people will be involved in motor vehicle accidents. To protect your rights to compensation, you should meet with an experienced car accident attorney in New York City.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond handle some of the toughest car accident cases that arise in the five boroughs. We are a small firm that gets big results, and we look forward to helping you. Contact us to schedule your free consultation at (718) 588-2000.