How Extreme Summer Weather Contributes to Car Accidents and How You Can Stay Safe

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 23-Aug-2017

During the hot days of summer, we generally think of dehydration and heat stroke as the greatest potential dangers to our health. However, car accidents may present another danger this time of year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the summer months typically bring higher numbers of traffic deaths, with July and August being considered the most dangerous months of the year to be on the roads.

How does the summer weather increase your risk of a car accident? Several contributing factors may be at work:

  • Driving in a hot car for long periods of time can cause heat exhaustion and dehydration. Excessive humidity can have a similar effect.
  • Due to the increase in vacationers, more cars are on the roads during the summer months, increasing the risks of collisions.
  • Hot temperatures increase the risk of tire blowouts. (As tires expand in the heat, they can become underinflated.)
  • Summer brings an increase in the number of pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads, especially in urban areas.
  • Alcohol use also increases in warmer weather, statistically leading to more drunk drivers on the roads.
  • Summer thunderstorms can also create unsafe conditions, including wet roads, flash flooding, hail, high winds and heavy rains, which can reduce visibility.

Safety Tips for Driving in Summer Weather

  • Stay hydrated and cool. Drink plenty of water, especially on long trips. If your vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning, take breaks when you get hot, or drive at night when the air is cooler.
  • Don’t drive in heavy thunderstorms. Pull over and wait for the storm to pass. Seek shelter, if possible.
  • Check tire pressure regularly. You may have to put a little more air in your tires in hot weather to keep them at the recommended tire pressure.
  • Be mindful of other cars, pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles on the road. Allow as much space as possible between your car and other vehicles.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Ever.

Taking a road trip this summer? Be sure to check out more safety tips here.

Our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Call our office to find out more.

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