At Affordable Insurance, we’re often asked, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? Most drivers will say that winter conditions are much more hazardous for driving than the easy breezy days of summer. While it’s certain that snow and ice on the road in winter can make traction difficult and visibility worse, most road accident fatalities occur during the summertime according to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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 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. It is important to keep up to date with 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, increased temperatures can also have an impact on drivers. Hot weather makes it much easier for a driver to get dehydrated quickly. Falling asleep at the wheel is also more likely in warm conditions and on long monotonous journeys. Any alcohol consumed can have a more intense effect when under the conditions of high temperatures and dehydration. Drivers should be proactive in staying sober, keeping hydrated and taking rest breaks while driving in summer.
Summertime means schools are out and you are more likely to encounter young drivers on the roads. Young drivers are categorized as very 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 learner drivers.
With school vacations in full swing, 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 out onto the roads. Be especially careful when driving around residential areas during the summer.
Road construction has to be completed at some point, and usually, it’s done during the summer months. This can cause drivers some inconveniences with temporary road closures and partial blocking. It is 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 the vacation traffic. This issue depends on your location, but if you live in a vacation town or near an airport, you may experience a dramatic increase in traffic congestion as hundreds of tourists set off on holiday. 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 are never an excuse to drink and drive. Whether you are attending a 4th of July picnic or a block party, you cannot give in to the temptation to drink if you plan on driving by yourself or with others. Decide on a designated driver well in advance or arrange alternative transportation. A DUI can severely impact the cost of your insurance and is not worth risking anybody’s safety.
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 very 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 conditions and react appropriately by reducing their speed.
Returning to the original question, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? We can categorically state that yes, when measured by road fatalities, driving in the summer is more dangerous than driving during any other season. It is up to drivers to be aware of the particular hazards presented by summer driving and to take the correct precautions. Keeping your car well maintained, looking out for pedestrians, cyclists, and new drivers and having patience will certainly help! Also, be sure to review your insurance policy as well to make sure you’re properly covered for whatever the summer brings.
Now that you know the answer to is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving, get in touch with Affordable Insurance in Aurora. For over 20 years we have been helping drivers to carefully analyze their habits, vehicle type, and driving record to determine the most suitable insurance plan for them. When it comes time to renew your auto insurance policy, allow us to create a personalized insurance package that works for you and keeps you covered all year long.