Summer ushers in warm weather, road trips, camping, barbeques, and more. Unfortunately, it also comes with an increase in car accidents and fatalities. There’s roughly a 29% increase from winter to summer, but why? Here are the reasons summer has the highest car fatalities.
School is Out
With school out of session, a large number of teens are on the road more often. Seeing friends and heading to summer jobs, this group of drivers are the least experienced. They also have statistically higher rates of accidents according to various studies.
More people on the road will always increase the chance of accidents happening, and more accident means higher chances for fatalities. However, the newest drivers on the road pose an extra threat. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 20.
More Construction Zones
Warmer weather makes it easier to maintain roadways, which means you’ll see an increase in the number of construction zones. Closures lead drivers onto unfamiliar roads, obstacles force a change in how you can drive through zones, and some drivers simply fail to slow down. Speeding through a work zone is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents, aside from damage and danger it causes.
Another leading cause of fatalities is drunk drivers, and warm summer weather happens to be the perfect time to enjoy a cold drink. From vacations to nights at the bar and holidays, people generally drink more this time of year.
More drinking means a higher rate of drunk drivers on the ride, which translates directly into accidents. Lawyers like Dan Rose can attest the increased number of cases their firms handle every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that alcohol-related deaths double in the summer months.
Bicycles and Motorcycles
For some, summer is the perfect time to hop on their bike and go for a ride. That includes motorcycles, too. Both see their fair share of accidents, including fatalities. In 2019, 1,089 cyclists dies. Out of those, 712 were struck by a vehicle.
In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists died as a result of vehicle collisions. These accidents and the frequency in which they happen are unique to summer, though they do happen in the spring and fall as well. Typically, June through September see the highest fatality numbers.
Blown Out Tires
Finally, the heat of summer causes the air in your car’s tires to expand. This, combined with hotter roads, makes them wear faster. The more worn a tire becomes, the higher the possibility of it blowing out.
This can easily cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, especially travelling at higher speeds on highways where blowouts are more likely to happen. High speeds and a loss of control can quickly lead to a fatal car accident. So, make sure you check your tires and replace them if need be before heading out this summer.