Summer Holiday Travel and Car Accident Rates

Warm weather and sunny days make summer a favorite season. Graduations are celebrated, weddings are held, school is out, and revelers hit the road for road trips and vacations. Unfortunately, statistics from several sources, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, point to summer as the most dangerous for drivers. Reports show that more accidents occur in June and July than at other times.


Knowing why summer is more dangerous on the road is the key to safe driving tips this season.

Why Car Accidents Increase in Summer


Multiple reasons lead to more car accidents in summer. An increase in traffic is a logical reason. Vacationers take to the highways for day trips, and the roads are more congested, especially in tourist areas. The surge in traffic itself is a culprit of more summer accidents.


Drivers from out-of-state may be unfamiliar with local traffic patterns. They may be distracted by the scenery of a different place making them more likely to cause or be involved in an accident.


School is out, and younger, more inexperienced drivers are on the road. These drivers are more likely to be distracted by texting and talking on the phone.


Backyard barbeques, Fourth of July parties, and other celebrations often include alcoholic beverages or intoxicating drugs. Unfortunately, some people make the poor choice to get behind the wheel. Impaired drivers are a leading cause of car accidents.


Summer weather can also be blamed for an uptick in car accidents. Hot weather can be hard on automobiles. High temperatures can cause engines to overheat, tires to blow out, and other mechanical issues that can lead to accidents.


Finally, road construction projects are often slated for summer since the weather is less threatening. Detours, lane closures, and disrupted traffic patterns can lead to confusion and distractions leading to accidents.


Tips for Avoiding Summer Car Accidents


Your Vehicle


Before you hit the road this summer, get your car a thorough checkup. Have a trusted mechanic check the battery, brakes, oil and fluid levels, tires, and brakes. Take care of any issues that may cause a breakdown or accident. Throughout the season, check tire pressure and tread.


Drive Defensively


Defensive driving begins with obeying the rules of the road. Drive the speed limit—not too slow and not too fast. Stay off the phone and avoid tasks like putting on makeup. Take note of road changes and ongoing construction.


Stay alert and aware of distracted drivers. If you see one, pull off the highway and take a break.


Heed Weather Warnings


Summer is the prime time for storms. Check the forecast before you head out and don’t drive in severe weather. If the heat is intense, keep a close check on tire pressure. Extreme heat causes fluctuations in tire pressure that can lead to dangerous blowouts.


Know the Danger Days


Watch the calendar when making your summer driving plans. Weekends and holidays such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day are the most dangerous times on the highways. The most fatal crashes on weekends happen between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Stay extra vigilant during these times, and consider traveling on lighter days. Keep these tips in mind, stay safe, and enjoy your summer!

Author: News Edition