July and August are two of the deadliest months for traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are several reasons why. Although there is nothing you can do to change the behavior of other motorists, there are some ways you can reduce your risk of an accident. We will explore those tips in the sections below. But first, let's take a look at some of the characteristics that tend to make summertime driving hazardous.
Inexperienced Teen Drivers are Sharing the Road with You
Teen drivers have less experience. We've all been there. They are still learning how to handle the vehicle and how to respond to unforeseen circumstances on the road. More teen drivers tend to be on the road over summer break. This increases the rate of teen driving accidents. Nighttime driving and speeding are two contributing factors often at play in these types of crashes.
AAA calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 Deadliest Days," in which auto accidents involving teen drivers kill 10 people a day, on average. In 2016, more than 1,050 people were killed in accidents involving a teen driver during this period of time.
Tragically, these deadly teen accidents are one of the reasons summer can be a hazardous time to drive. Stay alert and drive defensively. If you have children, be sure to talk to them about the importance of careful and attentive driving.
Hitting the Road for Summer Vacation
Let's face it – there's simply more congestion during the summer. Families are headed throughout the state and across the country to enjoy the long, warm days of summer. We all want to enjoy this time of year and get to our destinations safely. But the fact of more vehicles on the roads means more accidents. It's another factor to contend with between now and the start of school.
Warm Weather, More Hours of Daylight
The risk of a deadly crash is three times greater at night, according to the National Safety Council. With more hours of daylight this time of year, motorists tend to drive later into the evening, sometimes well past dark. As the light fades, it becomes more difficult to see. Peripheral vision is diminished. You can't see as far in front of you as you can in the daylight. On top of the vision issues, motorists tend to get drowsy in the dark. These factors contribute to a higher risk of an auto accident.
Lower Your Accident Risk
Here are a few safe driving measures:
- Don't send, read or type text messages. Texting and other forms of distracted driving must be avoided. Turn your phone to silent and put it out of sight. Use it only for navigation, if you need to. Set up the navigation ahead of time so you don't have to fuss with it while you're driving.
- Don't check emails or use your device at all. Driving requires our full attention. Looking away for just a moment can be enough to cause a collision.
- Get your car tuned up and check the tire pressure. Heat is tough on our vehicles. Tires are especially susceptible to blowouts in the heat. Check your tire pressure and perform any scheduled maintenance as part of your summer-ready checklist.
- Talk to your teens about safer driving. Our kids learn from us. Practice safe driving while they are in the vehicle, so they have a good example to follow. Talk to them about the seriousness of driving skills. Make sure they know texting and driving is life-threatening.
A little caution and care can go a long way. Driving requires our minds, hands and eyes, and our undivided attention.
Call Our Attorneys with Questions
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Omaha, Norfolk, Lincoln or any of the surrounding areas in Nebraska, please call our law firm at 402-371-4300. We will answer questions you have about the legal ramifications of your accident, and arrange a consultation for you with one of our experienced lawyers.