Although the summer months are a great opportunity for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and go on vacations such as road trips, the season is also associated with the most car accidents than any other time of the year.
According to an analysis of fatal crashes between 1998 and 2014 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of year on U.S. roadways. Fatalities are also higher on weekends and in the late afternoon and evenings. The trends suggest that Americans drive the most miles during the warm summer months.
The following are some of the reasons why car accidents occur more frequently during summertime:
- More teenage drivers on the road – Since school is out for the summer, high school and college students will spend more time during the week driving than when school is in session. This means more inexperienced drivers are on the road for longer periods of time, which increases the risk of crashes.
- An increase of impaired drivers – Weekends and certain holidays (e.g. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day) with increased consumption also see a rise in traffic deaths. In fact, Independence Day is the second-highest, deadliest day out of the year, averaging 141 deaths annually.
- More construction projects – In order to take advantage of the warmer weather, road maintenance peaks during the summer because construction crews want to get as much done before the winter arrives. Road construction can result in increased traffic congestion, more detours, and other changes to the normal driving conditions. This, in turn, can increase the risk of car accidents because drivers must pay more attention to their surroundings.
- Increase in travelers – Now that more people are on vacation, the roads will become more congested. Vacationers are less familiar with the area drive much slower than resident drivers.
- Vehicle equipment failure – Due to the higher temperatures, the summer months mean an increase in vehicle equipment failure. For instance, tires can expand in high temperatures, resulting in blowouts.
Now that you are aware of the most common causes of summer car accidents, you can avoid these dangers and prevent experiencing a stressful collision.