Driving during the summer months can feel deceptively safe. After all, there’s no ice on the roads. The weather is hot and dry, keeping roads relatively dry. But statistics actually show that summer is a riskier time to be on the roads. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, August is the deadliest month on U.S. roadways.
What makes summertime more hazardous for drivers? Here are a few factors that can increase summer driving dangers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Road construction. Not only are there more drivers on the roads during the summer, there is generally more road work being done during the dry summer months. Each year, nearly 700 fatality accidents occur in construction zones. If you’re driving through a work zone, stay alert, pay attention to signs and slow down.
Tire blowouts. Hot weather causes hot air inside your tires to expand. The older and more worn the tires, the higher the risk. Regularly check your tires for signs of wear and tear and have them replaced as needed. If brand new tires aren’t in the budget, many tire shops offer discounts on lightly worn tires that may be in much better shape than your existing tires.
Teen drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 38 percent more teenage driver deaths occur during the summer (June to August) than the preceding three months. During the summer, teens may spend more time driving than during the school year, and because they are less experienced drivers, teenage drivers are at an increased risk for accidents.
More motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The warm summer months draw people outside, which means there are more pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists on the road. Share the road, keep your eye out for pedestrians and leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and motorcycles.
Keep yourself and your family safe on Texas roads this summer with these tips:
- Get your car ready for summer. Test your battery, check your tires, have fluids checked and make sure brakes and lights work properly.
2. Wear sunglasses when driving to avoid the hazard of sun glare.
3. Avoid driving in flip flops, which can easily get caught under the pedals.
4. Evenly distribute weight in your car when packing for a road trip.
5. Avoid distractions including cell phone use and eating while driving.
6. NEVER leave children or pets in a car unattended. Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly climb to dangerous levels in a few short minutes.
7. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination when traveling, and take rest breaks as needed.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with an award-winning Dallas car accident attorney.
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