The months of June, July, and August sees an enormous spike in car crashes, DUIs, and fatalities on American roadways. The phenomenon is so well-documented that is has an official name: “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” But why does this happen? To find out, we need to look at some of the top causes of car crashes in the summer.
Drinking and driving always spikes during the summer and especially on holidays. However, you might be surprised to learn that The 4th of July is the most dangerous day to be on the road. Roughly 2% of the 1.4 million annual DUIs occur on Independence Day. Those in densely populated areas are at an especially high risk as there’s a greater chance of drivers striking pedestrians and cyclists.
Summer vacation means more teen drivers going out and taking day trips. Unfortunately, teen drivers are more likely than any other group to be involved in a serious crash. Car crashes involving teenagers increase by about 25% during the summer. Though we often take cars for granted, motor vehicle accidents are #1 cause of teen death.
Summer is the time for road work. The budget for June-August road repair makes up nearly an eighth of the entire US infrastructure budget. This work requires an army of summer workers. Each year, hundreds of those workers are struck by drivers or hit by their own construction vehicles. Despite wearing neon colors and holding bright orange signs, more than 120 traffic controllers are hit by cars every summer, usually by distracted drivers.
Pedestrians and Cyclists
Comfortable weather and summer activities mean more people walking and cycling. Unfortunately, this always means an increase in pedestrian fatalities.
The number of pedestrians stricken by cars has steadily increased throughout the 2010s. In 2016, there were as many pedestrian fatalities caused by motor vehicles as there were in 1990. While it’s fun to get out for the summer, pedestrians should remain wary, especially at intersections. Nationwide, a pedestrian out for a walk is most likely to be hit in June-August sometime between 9 AM and noon.
Although rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft are becoming the new normal, many vacationers prefer renting their own vehicles. Unfortunately, these drivers are usually unfamiliar with the local roads and traffic patterns. This unfamiliarity, in turn, causes traffic congestion or even crashes as drivers hesitate and swerve across lanes.
Intense summer temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle. As summer temperatures rise, more people will experience these maintenance issues each year, which means more car crashes.
On rare occasions, intense heat can cause batteries to wear out faster than usual. If that happens, the engine may turn off and the car will eventually come to a halt.
More likely, coolant fluids may evaporate under extreme temperatures. Without any way to reduce the engine’s heat, the car may overheat. When driving in summer, be sure to watch your temperature gauge. If it gets too high, turn off the AC and turn the temperature on high to vent the excess heat. If the temperature gauge gets too high, you could end up on the side of the road with white smoke billowing from your engine.
Finally, heat has a serious impact on your vehicle’s tires. Air expands when it heats up, adding pressure to your tires. On an extremely hot day, this can increase tire pressure by up to 20 PSI! That dramatically increases your risk of a blowout while on the road.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we can fight for you. If you’d like an experienced Starkville injury attorney from Vollor Law Firm, P.A. to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (662) 269-6188.