Is Summer the Most Dangerous Time to Drive?

Yes. During the summer, there are hazards present that are not there during other times of the year. This is actually true of all seasons: in the winter, drivers face snow and ice accumulation, in the Fall, drivers face rapidly shortening days and heavy autumn rains, and in the spring, winter’s leftover potholes can make for a difficult, bumpy ride. In the summer, heat makes drivers uncomfortable and can cause vehicles to overheat. More drivers, particularly inexperienced drivers, are on the roadway and with summer holidays can come more impaired drivers, both of which are linked to a higher incidence of car accidents.

More Teen Drivers on the Road Means More Chances for Inexperience-based Collisions

The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the “100 deadliest days of summer” for teenage drivers. This is because the number of teenage traffic fatalities increases during the summer months, when young drivers are driving through new locations, during later hours of the night, and more frequently with friends in their cars.

Hot Weather Can Mean Hot Tempers

During the summer months, drivers are more likely to experience road rage than they are at other times of the year. Road rage can include, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Rude gestures, such as “flipping the bird;”
  • Tailgating;
  • Shouting at other drivers; and
  • Driving in an aggressive manner, such as weaving in and out of traffic.

If you experience road rage from other drivers, do not engage with them. Instead, choose to continue driving in accordance with the posted traffic signs and focusing on getting yourself to your destination safely. Engaging with an angry driver will only encourage them to continue their behavior and can put you into a dangerous position.

Although you cannot control how others behave, you can avoid making other drivers upset by driving in a safe, considerate manner. Do not use a handheld phone while you are driving and make it a point to keep up with the flow of traffic. Do not cut others off in traffic or follow other vehicles too closely, because these can make other drivers upset and cause them to react in a negative manner.

Road Work Can Mean New, Confusing Traffic Patterns

It is not uncommon for states, counties, and municipalities to do road work during the summer in order to avoid weather-based delays that can come at other times of the year. When road crews are working, lanes might be closed off or traffic patterns could be rerouted, both of which can be confusing for drivers and back traffic up. Pay close attention to the posted traffic changes that accompany roadwork this summer to reduce your chance of being involved in an accident.

An Overheated Vehicle Can be a Hazard to Everybody on the Roadway

If your vehicle overheats, it can break down on the roadway and become a collision hazard for others. If your car is in danger of overheating, which you can determine by watching its temperature gauge, pull off the road and turn the engine off. White vapor or a strange smell from under the hood can also indicate a dangerously high temperature for your engine.

Keep yourself Cool and Safe on the Road this Summer

To avoid becoming a victim of road rage or engaging in road rage yourself, it is important that you stay cool, both emotionally and physically. Physical discomfort is linked to emotional overreaction and anger, so it is important that you keep your body cool while driving this summer by using your air conditioning system and drinking enough water.

Play soothing music in the car and consciously choose not to get upset by things you cannot control, like the heat or the traffic congestion. Consider learning how to relax your body with breathing techniques. By lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, you can reduce your stress level and arrive at your destination calm and ready for the rest of your day.

Work with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Wisconsin

If you are involved in a car accident this summer and suffer an injury, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your related damages through a personal injury claim with the help of an Appleton personal injury attorney. To learn more about the personal injury claim process, your rights as an injured claimant, and how to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve, contact our team of Appleton car accident attorneys at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.