Summer is a time for vacations, beach trips and carefree fun. It’s also a time of increased dangers on the road. According to the NHTSA, traffic monthly fatalities peak during July and August. Like the peaceful lakeside setting of a horror movie, summertime roads aren’t as safe as they seem. Stay on guard against these dangers.
Between day trips and road trips, the extra miles tend to add up. If there are more people on the road, it follows that there will be more crashes. Each mile of the road carries a crash risk. The increased congestion can also result in less than ideal driving conditions.
It’s not just the cars, either. There are more pedestrians and bicyclists on the road during the warm summer months, and pedestrian deaths are a growing problem. Despite a slight decrease in overall traffic fatalities, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths increased in 2018.
When the weather’s bad, you know you need to pay attention to the slippery roads. During the summer, you might be tempted to ease up a little – but that’s a mistake. Driving is dangerous regardless of the season and letting your eyes and mind wander can lead to trouble.
Distracted driving is often blamed for the recent increases in traffic fatalities. Many states have passed laws that ban texting while driving, but the problem persists. Other activities – eating food, changing the music and laughing with friends, for example – can also create dangerous distractions. According to the CDC, 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured each day in crashes involving distraction.
Most teens have the summer off from school. This means they have more free time, and they if they’ve gotten their driver’s license, they’ll probably spend some of it on the road.
Unfortunately, their lack of experience puts them at risk. According to the CDC, people between the ages of 15 and 19 made up 6.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2016, but this age group accounted for 8.4 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. An average of six teens between 16 and 19 die in crashes every day.
You might love the summer weather, but your car doesn’t. Tires are susceptible to heat damage, which can lead to dangerous blowouts. Check the tread and maintain the recommended tire pressure. It’s also important to have the coolant and fluid levels checked, and to inspect the belts and hoses for damage.
The people inside the car can also suffer from rising temperatures. Get the A/C checked, especially before a long trip. And always remember that a car doesn’t have to be moving for it to pose a risk. Every year, children die after being left in a hot car. According to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, 705 U.S. children have died of heatstroke after being left in hot cars since 1998. When the outside temperature is 80° F, the interior of a car can reach 122° F in just an hour. Cracking a window does not help much.
As always, great car insurance is essential. Get an online auto insurance quote at Jupiter Auto Insurance today!