Car accidents are a common occurrence at any time of the year. However, there is evidence that car accidents happen at a higher frequency during the summer months. The reasons for this increase are deeper than just the poor weather and icy roads that accompany winter. If you or a family member was involved in a serious car accident, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. At Reiff & Bily, our lawyers have over 40 years of experience dealing with complex car accident cases. Our attorneys are here to explain why car accidents are more common in the summer months.
Summer Car Accident Statistics
American drivers accumulate the most miles during the summer and early fall months. During the summer months, weekends and some holidays tend to trigger increased rates of car accidents. These dates often correlate with increased alcohol consumption among drivers, as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gathered data from 1998 to 2014 that showed that car accidents are more likely to occur during the summer, especially during the weekend.
According to the IIHS, over a 17-year period, there were approximately 139 traffic-related deaths on average on Saturdays compared to 89 on Tuesdays. Most traffic-related deaths occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Additionally, July and August were the most dangerous months for motorists; about 116 motorists died per day in those two months. Independence Day averaged 141 traffic-related deaths per year, making it the deadliest day for motorists every year. The only other day of the year with that many traffic-related fatalities is New Year’s Day.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in the Summer
There are several reasons why summer driving is more dangerous than driving during any other season. One cause for an increase in car accidents during the summer is an influx of teen drivers on the roads. Teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents than every other age group. This is because teenage drivers often lack the experience of seasoned drivers and therefore are more prone to making poor decisions that can lead to an accident. When teen drivers are out of school, they tend to spend more time on the road, potentially becoming involved in more accidents.
Individuals and families packing up for vacation are another common cause of car accidents in the summer. It is common to wait for warm weather to plan a vacation to a new or familiar area, and there are often countless numbers of people with the same idea. This causes the roadways to become congested with drivers who may not be familiar with the route to their vacation destination and can cause accidents while trying to find their way. Additionally, high levels of traffic could lead to erratic driving and road rage from some drivers, which endangers everyone on the road.
Better weather also means an increase in road construction. Construction sites are hotspots for traffic accidents, and you should ensure that you are cautious when driving through construction zones. Additionally, construction sites may force drivers to use detours they are unfamiliar with, increasing the likelihood of a car accident.
Summer weather can have an effect on the tires on your vehicle too. High temperatures can cause the air in your tires to expand and lead to a tire blowout. It is important to consistently check your tires in the summer, especially if you have old tires or you live in an area with regular heatwaves.
Another side effect of warm weather is more bicycles and motorcycles being used. Motorists need to ensure that they are driving more cautiously if they are traveling on roads frequented by cyclists. Regular maneuvers like turning or parking can become more dangerous if you are unaware of a cyclist that is traveling around your vehicle. Cyclists should also be aware of when they are traveling in a driver’s blind spot to avoid a bicycle accident or motorcycle accident.
If you are making a particularly long drive during the summer, you should also be sure to stay hydrated. While it can be easy to overlook, the summer sun can cause many drivers to become dehydrated, which may affect their responsiveness on the road. Excessive heat can also cause your vehicle to overheat, and continuing to drive in that situation puts you and other motorists at risk.
Work with Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a family member was the victim of a serious car accident during the summer, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney today. At Reiff & Bily, our attorneys can help you understand whether you have a valid cause of action against a negligent driver. We understand that a severe car accident injury can impact various facets of your life, and we are here to help you. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (215) 274-0072, or reach us online.