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A study that was carried out by Michelin for National Tire Safety Week has found that drivers feel safer on the road during the summer despite the fact that accidents actually rise during this time. The less-defensive mindset many drivers have in the summer appears to be a contributing factor to the annual hike in crashes during the warmer months.
According to the study results, about two out of every three drivers said they felt more secure driving in the summer, and the majority also falsely believed there are fewer accidents during the season. As a result, the study also found that drivers are far less likely to be as vigilant as they should be in the summer, with many respondents admitting they pay less attention to their surroundings and other drivers during the summer months. In reality, as noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents occur more often in the summertime than any other season.
A driving safety expert from Michelin did offer one known accident source during higher temperatures: tires. These car fixtures are vulnerable to heat, but many drivers are only concerned about the state of their tires in the winter, when there is ice on the road. When tires get too hot, they expand, increasing the risk of a blowout and a resulting accident because of the sudden loss of control. Heat can also wreak havoc on a vehicle’s mechanical parts and systems, which increases the likelihood of accidents even further.
On top of the tire issue in the summer, this season brings more teens out on the roads, and they tend to engage in riskier driving behaviors than adults, as shown by numerous studies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, drivers aged 15 to 19 only represented 7 percent of the total US population but accounted for 11 percent of the total costs stemming from car crash injuries in just 2013 alone. Summertime also means increased travel, so in addition to more teen drivers, there tends to be more road congestion and a larger number of drivers who are in an unfamiliar area. Both scenarios can lead to more accidents.
One commonly overlooked cause of summertime accidents is the increase of construction that takes place on roads. Many towns, cities, states and villages take advantage of the nicer weather to move forward with bigger and more complicated road repair and construction projects, and this can cause changes in traffic patterns that make accidents more likely for a variety of reasons. Drivers who are not paying enough attention to the traffic changes or begin driving in an erratic manner out of frustration at delays, for example, can cause crashes at under-construction intersections and road sections.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer Denver CO relies on as soon as possible to protect the rights of the accident victim and the entire case.
Thanks to our friends and contributor from The Law Offices of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into summertime auto accidents.