When you think of dangerous driving conditions, you may think of snow, ice or fog. But it turns out that the most dangerous time of year to drive—the time when the most drivers have accidents—is the month of August, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
There are several reasons that researchers believe August is the most dangerous month. Reasons that summer driving is more dangerous include:
- More drivers on the road. As work patterns change and more people take vacations, there are more drivers on the road. But most dangerous is that, among these drivers, are more teenagers, who are generally less safe and more distracted than their more-experienced fellow drivers. The teens are spending more time on the road in summer than other months when they’re usually in school.
- More construction. Many cities and states schedule roadway construction projects for the warm days of summer. This means more closed lanes, detours, slow-downs, and traffic back-ups – which can all cause more accidents.
- Increased heat increases equipment failure. Hot temperatures can cause a lot of damage to engines and tires. And when one car experiences problems on the road, this can cause accidents and back-ups affecting many other cars.
- Big summer weekends. Weekends are the least safe time of the week to travel, since more people are on the road. Add to that the increased weekend drives that people take in summer for vacations and events, and that makes August weekends perhaps the least safe time to travel all year.
How to drive safer in summer
Though driving a car is one of the most dangerous choices we make every day, it’s a choice we almost all have to make. So since you need to drive, take a few steps to be as safe as possible every time you get behind the wheel. Here are some tips for safe summer driving:
- Have your car serviced regularly. Check tire pressure regularly, and plan to have your car serviced before long summer road trips.
- Avoid driving at night. Fatality rates from car crashes are significantly higher at night. They also increase slightly during evening rush hour (5-7 p.m.). So, when possible, try to drive during the day.
- Always wear a seat belt. Always. And make sure everyone else in the car does as well.
- Reduce or eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone or make a notification that you can’t answer texts while driving. Set the radio only when the car is stopped. Don’t eat and drive.
- Never drive under the influence. Drinking, drugs and driving never mix. Call a designated driver, a taxi or Uber driver to get you home safely. And don’t let any drunk or impaired friends drive home.
If you are the driver of a car or are a victim in a summer car accident, the experienced Spartanburg car accident lawyers at Hodge & Langley Law Firm can help with your case. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.