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The 8 Biggest Risks Drivers Face During the Summer

Posted in Car Accident on July 13, 2018

Although there’s only a few weeks left until school starts back for many children throughout Middle Tennessee, summer has just begun. It’s important to remember that while summer may seem like a more relaxed and carefree time of year, the National Safety Council reports that car accidents and pedestrian deaths both spike between the months of June and September.

A big reason for that is the number of holiday weekends that involve additional travelers on Tennessee’s highways and interstates, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. In addition, families are often traveling long distances to go on vacations and road trips to see friends and relatives.

The increased number of vehicles on the road combined with longer hours of daylight mean that drivers should exercise increased caution during the summer. Accidents can happen at any time of year, but statistics show that summer may be more dangerous than any other season.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash this summer, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation—especially if the driver who caused the accident was negligent. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers know what evidence to look for and collect when pursuing damages for victims like you, and we know how to stay one step ahead of the insurance company. Call us today at (615) 200-1111 or fill out our online consultation form.

Keep These Potential Dangers in Mind This Summer

The next time you drive in Middle Tennessee, whether it’s during your daily commute, a trip to the mall, or even the beginning of a longer road trip, it’s important to remember that certain risks that all drivers face increase during the summer.

Five of those risks include:

  • Distracted driving—Distracted driving has been described by many law enforcement agencies and safety organizations as a growing epidemic that threatens the safety of millions of Americans every year. Driving is a highly complex task that requires full concentration and focus, and anything that takes drivers’ attention away from the road can increase their risks of accidents. Summer can be an especially distracting time, as drivers also may face increased distractions by having additional passengers in their vehicles, including their children. In addition to never using your phone behind the wheel, you should also be prepared for new distractions when your kids are out of school.
  • Road rage—Some drivers are more likely to engage in reckless and dangerous behaviors when they’re behind the wheel during the summer. That’s because road rage incidents spike when temperatures are hot outside. Many studies suggest that drivers can become more aggressive during the summer, and that can lead to many otherwise avoidable accidents. To protect yourself and your loved ones, do your best to stay cool, calm, and collected. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, and never engage with other drivers who are angry, as it can escalate the situation and lead to direct confrontations.
  • Work zones—The summer is an ideal time for state and local governments to complete schedule road work projects and bridge repairs. That means it’s common to encounter work zones or detours on your daily commute. Work zones can be dangerous due to things like lanes ending, narrowing, and shifting, the presence of workers, the lack of shoulders and exits, and winding paths on otherwise straightforward highways and interstates. Staying safe while traveling through work zones requires staying focused on the task at hand and being on the lookout for signs and flaggers who will direct you through upcoming detours, lane shifts, or stops.
  • Teen drivers—Teens are the most at-risk group of drivers on Tennessee’s roadways. Their inexperience means that they’re not only less prepared to handle potential accident-causing situations, but they’re also more likely to be involved in those situations to begin with. Because teens’ brains are still developing, they’re more likely to have questionable judgment behind the wheel and are more likely to take unnecessary risks. Be sure to teach your children safe driving habits, especially if they’re at or approaching driving age. That includes lessons like always buckling up, never using a cell phone while behind the wheel, and limiting the number of passengers riding in their vehicles.
  • Tire blowouts—Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that contact the road. That means they’re among the most vital components of your vehicle for both comfort and safety. During the summer, tires are more vulnerable than during any other time of the year. That’s because hot weather can cause the air inside tires to expand. Normal tires that are in good condition can handle this fluctuation. However, worn tires or tires that are over or underinflated may be less capable of adjusting to differing air pressure. Over time, that can lead to blowouts while driving.
  • Flash floods—The National Weather Service says that as temperatures rise, so too does the potential for heavy rains. Because summer is often a relatively dry season, sudden downpours can overwhelm gutters and water drainage systems, causing fast-moving water to quickly accumulate and rise out of creeks and into roadways. In addition, winds are often weaker in the summer, which means thunderstorms and heavy rain showers can last for long periods of time, resulting in significant ponding, especially in low-lying areas. Check local weather forecasts and stay home or take alternative routes if your area has a flash flood warning.
  • Increased numbers of motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians—When it’s warm outside, people are more likely to get around town in alternative ways. That includes riding their motorcycles and bicycles or walking on sidewalks and crosswalks. Whether people are traveling on two wheels or two feet, it’s important to be aware of their presence and the risks they face on Nashville’s roadways. Always be on the lookout for motorcycles when you’re turning left and give bicyclists plenty of room when passing or when they’re traveling in bike lanes. Exercise caution when approaching crosswalks, especially at night or in busy urban areas.
  • Hot cars—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that child heatstroke in vehicles isn’t typically a case of irresponsible parents leaving their children in cars. Instead, it’s about parents making a one-time mistake that can have fatal consequences—and sometimes it’s about kids climbing into vehicles and becoming trapped inside. The NHTSA recommends that parents can protect their children by placing reminders in passenger seats when their children are in their vehicles with them and to keep their vehicles locked and their keys out of reach when they’re at home.

Get the Help You Deserve if You Were Hurt in a Crash this Summer

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims like you year-round. With 30 years of experience building strong claims for people who were hurt in auto crashes, we know what it takes to win and how to stay one step ahead of the insurance company throughout the entire claim process.

Don’t go it alone, and don’t risk jeopardizing your chance at getting the compensation you deserve. Call us today—we’re ready to put our experience to work for you and your loved ones.