Would you believe that US roads are more dangerous in the summer than in winter snow? It sounds surprising, but it’s part of a consistent phenomenon called “The 100 deadliest days of summer.” Somehow, there are as many car crashes in the summer months, particularly August, as there are in months with heavy snow and ice.
What’s the reason for this? Why are there more car crashes in summer?
Summer road repairs make up 15% of the US’s entire infrastructure budget and that number grows a little higher every year. Between June and August, roads across America are covered in traffic cones and heavy equipment. While construction and repairs are ultimately good for all of us, the work puts a burden on drivers and generally causes more accidents.
Nearly 500 construction workers are hit by cars or hit by construction vehicles every summer. Traffic controllers are at especially high risk, with more than 120 construction workers on traffic duty killed every year. About half of those people were killed by a distracted driver. Traffic controllers are at particular risk, even when wearing safety vests and waving bright orange signs.
Pedestrians and Cyclists
Sunny skies and warm weather means more people walking around instead of driving, especially in popular tourist destinations like the Florida coast. However, an increase in pedestrian traffic means an increase in crashes.
There are many reasons for this, including jaywalking and being distracted by a phone. However, one of the more tragic reasons is that summer means significantly more drunk drivers putting pedestrians at risk.
Sadly, there are more DUIs in summer months than in Spring or fall. The 4th of July alone accounts for 2% of all annual DUIs in the US. Pair that with more pedestrians, cyclists, and more traffic, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Time off from school means more teen drivers making the most of their summer. However, teen drivers often have less experience behind the wheel and have the highest crash rate of any group.
That may be why accidents involving teen drivers spike by 26% during June, July, and August. This well-documented phenomenon is called the “100 deadliest days of summer” and these car crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities.
Summer means people traveling for their yearly vacations. However, going to a new place comes with unique challenges.
When vacationers rent a car, they expose themselves to unfamiliar traffic patterns. Although locals become accustomed to defective road design, vacationers usually won’t know where the difficult places are until they’re already in an accident.
With the invention of AC, most drivers don’t consider the summer temperature or how it impacts their cars. As summers get hotter year after year, it’s crucial drivers understand how this extreme weather can cause more car accidents.
When air gets hot, it expands and takes up more space. When it comes to a car tire, high temperatures can cause the air to expand and increase tire pressure by up to 20%. Underinflated or overinflated tires are always a risk, but high temperatures increase the chances of causing a blowout.
Similarly, heat can cause batteries to corrode faster than usual, which could lead someone stranded on the side of the road without AC. Finally, high heats can sometimes interfere with the car’s coolant system and eventually cause the engine to overheat. If you’ve ever seen a summer driver pulled over with their hood popped and white smoke spewing out, it might be from an overheated engine.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced Brevard County personal injury attorney Henderson & Futchko, P.A. to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (321) 320-7162.