Any time you get behind the wheel or ride as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, there is a chance of being involved in a car crash. People love to get out on the roads at any time of year, especially when it is warm and sunny. Driving under blue skies on dry roads is a lot more fun than trekking over snow or ice-covered roads in winter. Yet driving in hot weather is actually more dangerous in summer than in other months.
Anderson & Cummings discusses the hot weather hazards in Texas and why summer can often lead to more car crashes.
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How Does Hot Weather Make Driving More Dangerous in Summer?
People are often surprised to learn about the increased risk of car crashes during the summer. However, studies show there are several reasons for the increased driving dangers during the warmer months.
More Road Congestion
Fewer people get out on the roads during the cold months of winter when there is snow or ice on the ground. In comparison, summer has plenty of days with dry roads, and there are also longer daylight hours. It is only natural to expect a lot more cars on the road in good weather.
People Take More Road Trips During the Summer
Once it is warmer out and the days become longer, people get inspired to take road trips. In addition to getting out to enjoy the nicer weather, it is often easier to get time off in summer. Families with school-age children can get everyone to go on a trip in the summertime without the need to miss classes.
More Road Work Means More Construction Zones
With better weather comes more road work, and that always means more construction zones. Driving through these areas is always high risk, both for drivers and road workers alike. Too often people become distracted by texting and driving and other things. Drivers who look down at their phones or in the back seat to grab something could miss a “Road Work” sign. Other risks in construction zones include:
- Machinery creating a roadblock or parked and forgotten by a road worker
- Road construction flaggers may get hit by distracted or speeding drivers
- Road speed and driver lanes may quickly change
- Construction zones may not always be clearly marked
- Bright sunshine may make it difficult to see road signs
Increased Number of Pedestrians, Cyclists and Other Vulnerable Road Users
During summer, most people want to get out more. In addition to heavier traffic, there are also more pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users enjoying the weather. When you combine heavier traffic with other variables, such as bright sunshine and people not paying attention, the increased chance of crashes is a given.
More Motorcycles Out On the Roads
Good weather gets everyone out on the roads, including those with a preference for riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, when traffic is denser, it also increases the risk of a collision with a motor vehicle. Motorcycle riders are responsible for following safe driving laws, such as not lane-splitting, which is illegal in Texas. However, drivers also owe a duty to avoid doing things, such as riding too close to a rider, that could cause a crash with a motorcycle.
Flash Summer Rainstorms
For drivers already on the road, flash summer rainstorms create an increased risk of a crash. Some drivers may slam on the brakes if they become startled by the sudden rain and being unable to see as well. Other drivers continue as if there was no change in the weather. Negligent drivers who ignore factors, such as slick roads or the possibility of hydroplaning, create risks for others sharing the road.
Cars Sustain More Wear and Tear in High Heat
During the heat of a hot Texas summer, cars are more likely to have parts wear out quicker. This is why you may often see a lot of break-downs in the summertime. Common mechanical issues during the summer season include:
- Dead batteries – Hot weather makes a battery work harder. In areas, like Texas, where the heat is excessive, this could reduce your battery’s lifespan a lot sooner than expected.
- Worn windshield wipers – Keeping worn windshield wipers replaced is critical to driving safety. A flash summer shower could quickly impact your vision and put you at risk of a crash if your wipers are not in good working order.
- Broken serpentine belt – A broken drive belt is also more likely in summer due to the high heat. If you have power steering, this can affect your ability to control your vehicle safely.
- Tire blowouts –In the summer, the high heat of the day combined with cooler night weather can impact tire pressure and make a blowout more likely, especially if your tires are already worn, older or underinflated.
Bright sun is a possibility all year round, but in summer it is much more prevalent. If you are driving into the sun, it can make it difficult to see vehicles, pedestrians, and other objects in front of you. This is especially a risk for less experienced drivers who may be less sure how to handle the situation.
More Incidents of Driver Impairment
Summer parties are often served with alcohol, which tends to mean more impaired drivers on the road. Too often, drivers may take the risk of getting behind the wheel while impaired, because they feel they are “just buzzed.” However, even a small amount of alcohol can make drivers react more slowly or have a delayed response to road hazards. Buzzed drivers are also more likely to drift out of their lane of traffic, increasing the risk of a lane-departure crash.
What Are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?
The 100 deadliest days of summer are so named for the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During these warmer months, the number of teen driver crashes increases by about 15 percent. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that drivers between 16 and 19 years are three times more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than drivers who are aged 20 years and older.
Injured in a Hot Weather Car Crash? Contact Anderson & Cummings to Discuss Your Situation
Anderson & Cummings have been representing victims injured by negligence for decades. We are deeply committed to holding at-fault parties accountable and seeking full and fair compensation for our clients.
Our firm has the necessary resources and staff to fully manage your claim. We also have a proven history of results, recovering more than $100 million for our clients.
Contact us today to get started and learn if you may have legal options. We are here to help and there are no upfront costs to pay.