Summer Accident Statistics: What Causes Car Accidents in the Summer?
The number of deadly accidents occurring on the nation’s highways increases in the summer. There are quite a few causes for this increase, and many are related.
1. More people are on the roads
More than any other time, people take to the roads in the summer months. While there are spikes associated with travel during the holidays which occur at other times of the year, people generally vacation during the summer. And with the pent-up need to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions, travel has increased significantly since the pandemic ended. More congestion simply increases the odds of accidents occurring. School is out which also adds to those who can travel. The weather is generally better which adds to the allure and ability to take a trip. And the days are longer which means more travel time for those who prefer to drive in the daytime, which is most drivers.
2. More teens on the road
School vacations don’t just allow more travel but also change the dynamic of those who are driving. Those in grades K-12 and even into college are out of school during the summer months. While summer seems an awful lot shorter than it did years ago, there is still ample opportunity for students to travel. This also means more drivers on the road who have less experience. Those with less experience are more likely to be involved in accidents. There are also more distractions for these less experienced drivers, who are frequently on cell phones either talking, texting, or selecting music.
3. More alcohol-related accidents
During the summer months, people have more opportunities to get outside. Many enjoy cold alcoholic drinks when they do. Unfortunately, they also get behind the wheel after drinking, causing more accidents and deaths.
4. More highway construction
Road construction and maintenance occur more during the summer months. Longer days and better weather for road construction are two driving factors. Work zones are frequent sites for deadly accidents, as are the traffic jams which occur because of such work.
5. More bad weather
Though the weather is generally better for outdoor activities in the summer, the severe thunderstorms and driving rains of summer can mean reduced visibility and highway flooding, both of which contribute to an increased number of accidents.
6. Longer trips
Not only are the number of vehicles on the road greater during the summer but the average distance driven increases for each trip as well. Leisure travel is up in the summer and those trips are longer. This means driver fatigue. Driver fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel cause many highway accidents.
7. More occupants
With family vacations and other leisure trips, there are more occupants in those vehicles on the highway in the summer months. More occupants mean a greater likelihood that fatalities can result from accidents.