June, July, and August are the worst months when it comes to fatal car accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This happens for a number of reasons. Let’s look at the top four reasons and how this affects you and your family.
1. More People on the Roads
Summer vacations bring people of all ages out on the open road. Weekend trips to the beach with the kids clog up highways. Going hiking in the mountains with close friends puts excess traffic on narrow roads. Trips to see family across country may mean taking unfamiliar roads in places you’ve never been. All this additional traffic means more potential accidents.
A great way to respond to increased traffic is with situational awareness. Try to keep a good stopping distance between you and the car ahead. Make sure your mirrors are adjusted to see the traffic beside and behind you. Watch how drivers are handling their vehicles. Seeing a problem early makes it easier to avoid.
If certain areas around your area tend to get clogged with visitors, try to avoid those areas during peak times. Plan shopping or other trips for the times when visitors aren’t so prevalent.
2. People Tend to Party More in the Summer
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, people love to have backyard barbecues, family reunions, and get togethers with friends and family alike. Having a few beers to drink is common at these types of events. Driving while buzzed or intoxicated increases the chances of accidents occurring.
When you’re out on the road, watch for erratic drivers. A drunk driver tends to weave all across the road and overcompensate on turns. If you see anyone driving in such a manner, slow down and give them room. Have someone in the car, besides the driver, call 911 to report a potential drunk driver.
3. Teen Drivers Are Out and About More
The newest drivers on the road aren’t in school all day in the summer. They are running around, trying to hone their driving skills while listening to music, putting on makeup, or talking on the phone. Their lack of skill and ease of getting distracted makes them more likely to cause an accident than more seasoned drivers.
Unfortunately, you will find young, inexperienced drivers just about anywhere during in the summer. However, if you know of areas popular with teens, try to avoid them. When you see a vehicle filled with teens, watch how the driver is handling the car. If the teen is distracted or driving erratically, find another route.
4. Road Construction Picks Up
In cooler climates, road construction is often scheduled for the warmer months of the year. As summer rolls around, you start to see more road construction crews out doing their jobs. Their work requires them to close off lanes and send vehicles on detours. This tends to congest traffic and make things more difficult for drivers.
Frustration can become a real problem due to road construction delays. This can lead to incidents of road rage. If you know an area is going to have road construction work happening, find an alternate route if possible.
Of course, some road work isn’t scheduled or publicized. When you find yourself in a temporary traffic jam waiting on road construction, use your head. Don’t travel too close to the car ahead of you. Be patient. Watch for how other drivers are handling their vehicles.
Being aware of these potential problems on the road this summer will help you avoid them becoming an issue for you. Whether it’s all the extra drivers, the inexperienced teens, road construction, or drunk drivers, any type of car accident can occur in the summer months. Stay safe out there.