At Affordable Insurance in Aurora, we sometimes see customers increase their insurance coverage during the winter. The thought is that winter conditions are much more hazardous for driving than summer.
However, according to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most road accident fatalities occur during the summertime.
Yes, even though snow and ice on the road can make traction difficult and visibility worse during the winter, it’s not likely that you need expanded insurance coverage during the winter.
What Makes Summer So Hazardous?
There are a number of factors that contribute to this surprising statistic.
The overconfidence of drivers may come into play during the summer months. With clear roads and excellent visibility, it can be tempting to go over the speed limit, especially on long, straight highways. As we all know, the higher the velocity at the time of a car accident, the more severe the resulting damage.
Hot weather also instantly increases the likelihood of a tire blowout and can exacerbate other problems with your car. Radiator failure and overheating the engine is more likely during the summer, making keeping up on regular maintenance of your vehicle as summer approaches. Otherwise, you could be the victim of an unexpected car failure. If this happens at the wrong moment, it can be hazardous.
In addition to affecting vehicles, warmer temperatures can also have an impact on drivers. Hot weather makes it much easier for a driver to get dehydrated. Falling asleep at the wheel is also more likely in warm conditions and on long monotonous road trips. Plus, any alcohol consumed can have a more intense effect when experiencing high temperatures and dehydration. Drivers should be proactive in staying sober, keeping hydrated and taking rest breaks.
Summertime means schools are out and you are more likely to encounter young drivers on the roads. Young drivers are categorized as high risk and more likely to be involved in collisions. Many teenagers learn to drive during the summer, and they cannot be expected to be faultless drivers straight away. It is important for more experienced drivers to be patient and to leave a very generous following distance behind student drivers.
With school vacations in full swing during the summer, drivers also must be prepared to share the roads with more pedestrians and cyclists, many of them being children. There are also more motorcyclists out during the summer. Remember to be extra cautious and leave sufficient space for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians to easily pass.
Good weather means more sports played outside and the possibility of stray balls and frisbees sending kids running into roads. Be especially careful when driving in residential areas during the summer.
Road construction has to be completed at some point, and usually, it’s during the summer months. This can cause drivers inconveniences with temporary road closures and partial blocks, but it’s important for drivers to follow the signals given by road workers and co-operate, especially when all traffic must go through one lane. Road construction sites are a hotspot for fender benders, crashes, even injuring a worker. There are high penalties involved, so remember to slow down and be patient.
Another hazard of summer driving is vacation traffic, though you’ll see a lot of it when the holidays roll around. So, if you’re considering increasing insurance coverage during the winter, you’ll have plenty of protection whether you’re driving over the river and through the woods or navigating a mall parking lot.
This issue also depends on your location. If you live in a vacation town or near an airport, you may see a dramatic increase in traffic congestion from hordes of tourists. For residents of tourist destinations, this can be especially frustrating. Drivers coming in from out of town are often disoriented, tired, and more likely to get into accidents when lost and going through unfamiliar junctions.
For many people, the sunny days and balmy nights of summer mean BBQs, bonfires at the beach and all-night parties. The good weather and relaxed atmosphere of summertime sometimes even leads to bad decisions like drinking and driving. Unfortunately, that danger is present all year long, so adding to your insurance coverage during the winter may not be such a bad idea. It can provide peace of mind whether you’re sharing the roads with summer revelers or people leaving holiday parties.
Unexpected weather is the final risk factor of summer driving that we will mention.
In some areas of the country, Colorado especially, summer is the season for intense hailstorms. These storms can cause severe damage to vehicles and make driving dangerous. If caught in a bad hailstorm, drivers should pull over and wait for the worst of the storm to pass before continuing their journey.
Rain showers that occur during the summer after a long dry spell can often create difficult driving conditions. When water mixes with the build-up of grease and dirt, a slippery layer is created on the road, making it very easy for vehicles traveling at high speeds to lose traction and hydroplane.
Drivers should look out for changing weather and react appropriately by reducing their speed. This goes for winter driving as well since we often see warm days followed by snowstorms and vice versa.
Do You Really Need More Insurance Coverage During the Winter?
As you can see, summer driving seems to be more dangerous than winter driving, though cold weather presents its own risks. Now that you know that adding more insurance coverage during the winter isn’t statistically necessary, you can breathe a little easier and keep a couple bucks in your pocket.
Then again, if you want to make changes to insurance coverage during the winter, that’s certainly not a bad idea. After all, if an accident leaves you stranded without a vehicle to get around, relying on public transportation during the winter can be tough.
So, get in touch with Affordable Insurance in Aurora. For over 20 years we have been helping drivers to analyze their habits, vehicle type, and driving record to determine the best insurance plan for them.