On its face, it doesn’t make sense that car accidents are more common in the summer. The weather is mild and the days are longer so there are more hours with better visibility for drivers. But, the statistics for 2020 bear it out. The data shows that across the United States, April saw the fewest number of crash deaths while August had the most.
The reasons for this may include:
- More traffic—-school is out (more inexperienced, young drivers on roads), people are on vacation (adds to traffic volume), and Chicago is a tourist attraction (more drivers who aren’t familiar with Chicago roads). All of these variables can lead to more accidents.
- Construction season—Summertime is the peak season for road construction. This means detours, lane closures, and myriad other disruptions to traffic patterns that can increase the likelihood of accidents.
- More people and bikes out—Summer weather means more pedestrians, cyclists, and bikes on the roadways. This can make navigating the roads even more challenging for cars.
- Road conditions—Summer months have unpredictable weather such as thunderstorms, flash floods, and other weather events. These can create hazardous driving conditions.
If you’ve been involved in a summertime car accident, it’s wise to consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as you can. In general, here are some tips and suggestions to help you drive safely on the highway.
Tips for Safe Summer Driving
Driving safely and defensively year-round is important, but especially during the summer when we know the risks are higher. Here are some steps you can take for safe summer driving.
- Do a tire check —Summer can be hard on your tires so make sure they have plenty of air and aren’t too worn. Hot weather can cause the air inside your tires to expand which can result in a blowout in worn tires. It’s smart to check them regularly during the summer months.
- Check the weather — Check your weather app before you head out so you can avoid storms or other weather that could affect your trip and your safety. Keep your gas tank full and your body hydrated as driving in the summer heat can cause dehydration.
- Mind the Speed Limit —-Nothing good happens when driving above the speed limit. The car is more difficult to control, braking takes more time, and your reaction time is decreased. In addition, higher speeds can result in more serious injuries and other damages.
- Make Sure You Are Visible to Others —-You want to maximize visibility to others and optimize your ability to see them as well. Turn your headlights on when the sun sets and any time you use your windshield wipers. Also make sure your windshield, windows, and exterior lights are all clean as well.
- Take Breaks — Stop and get out of the car every couple of hours to avoid getting sleepy. If you have a travel companion, share the driving with them if possible. Pull over and find someplace to sleep if you feel you’re experiencing sleep urgency.
- Avoid Impairment and Screens — avoid alcohol or other impairing substances if you know you will be driving. Put your cell phone and other devices away while driving.
Call a Car Accident Attorney with Questions
If you’ve been involved in a summertime car accident, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney for a free case evaluation. They can assess the facts of your specific situation and advise you on the best path forward.