“Summertime, and the living is easy.” So sang Ella Fitzgerald. Perhaps because the living feels so easy, the chance of dying on the roads is higher than usual. July and August are the two most dangerous months of the year to be driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
These are some of the reasons for increased injuries and deaths on the road in the summer:
- Summer thunderstorms: When a sudden rain or hailstorm hits during a dry period, roads flood quickly, causing cars to hydroplane when they hit an unexpected puddle. Rain also washes the accumulated grease from the highways, making braking more difficult on the slick surface.
- Tire blowouts: Excess summer heat can stress tires, causing them to explode, and the driver to lose control.
- Summer drinking: With the onset of barbeques and picnics, it can be tempting to drink and drive.
- Kids play in the street: When the weather is wet and cold, children stay inside. Sunshine combined with school vacations means more kids will be out playing on or close to the road.
- Motorcyclists and cyclists: Two-wheeled transport increases when the weather improves and those using it are much more vulnerable in a crash than a car driver.
- Nonlocals: People on vacation can pull sudden maneuvers, as they realize they have missed a turn on unfamiliar streets. They may also drive more slowly, staring out the window at the scenery leading impatient local drivers to attempt dangerous overtaking maneuvers.
If you are injured by a negligent motorist this summer, or someone you love is wrongfully killed by one, seek legal help to understand your options.