Although Southern California tends to enjoy warm weather throughout the year, the summer months beckon more recreational drivers to travel to the beach, a summer cabin by the lake, or explore a new corner of the state. Many people across the country assume that auto accidents happen more often during the winter months when icy and snowy conditions make roads more slippery and hazardous. However, numerous sources of data indicate that summer sees the most significant increase in car accidents. Let’s take a look at what factors may contribute to this surge in summer accidents and what steps California auto accident victims can take following an injury to obtain the compensation they need to support their physical recovery.
What the Data Shows About Summer Car Collisions
Multiple sources report that a person’s chances of experiencing an auto collision increase during the summer months. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), July and August saw the highest number of traffic fatalities, with an average daily toll of 116 traffic deaths. June, October, and September rounded out the top five riskiest months for driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released a report indicating that traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021, with the summer experiencing a notable increase in traffic accidents throughout the country. In particular, fatalities involving multi-vehicle crashes and those occurring on urban roads rose by 16 percent between 2020 and 2021.
Possible Factors Behind the Summer Accident Uptick
As Riverside County residents and Southern California visitors prepare to hit the open road, it’s worth taking time to understand some potential risk factors behind the uptick in traffic accidents and injuries. Being mindful of these risks can help you and others stay safer on California roadways, both during the summer and throughout the rest of the year.
Summer Sees More Young Drivers on the Road
One possible factor that may be contributing to an uptick in car accidents during the summer is the more prominent presence of young, inexperienced drivers on the road. With school out of session, many teen drivers take to the streets to visit friends, head to the beach, or commute to a seasonal job. Unfortunately, many teen drivers have not yet mastered their defensive driving skills, making them more likely to misread a situation or inaccurately respond in a hazardous situation. As you travel California roads during the summer, just be aware that many of your fellow drivers lack your experience.
More Vacationers and Tourists in the Summer
Summer sees more individuals, couples, and families venturing out to a new destination to enjoy a vacation. This means that the roadways will see an uptick in drivers unfamiliar with the area and the complex freeway systems, increasing the likelihood that a driver looking at a GPS or distracted by signs or their phone may lose control of their vehicle and cause a collision. Keep an eye out for cars traveling at strange or erratic speeds, as this may indicate that they are not giving their full attention to the road.
Unfortunately, alcohol consumption may become more common during the summer months, as people gather with friends, celebrate the Fourth of July, or otherwise drink more alcoholic beverages during these three months. With an uptick in alcohol consumption comes an increase in intoxicated driving, with impaired drivers making the poor decision to drink and then drive themselves and others home. Consuming alcohol reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it more likely that they will make poor decisions on the road.
Vehicle Impairment Due to Excessive Heat
Excessive heat during the summer can wreak havoc on your vehicle. For example, intense heat can increase the risk of tires exploding, possibly resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. Engines may be more likely to overheat, stall, or catch fire during the summer months, so make sure you have your vehicle inspected regularly to reduce the chances of such issues and hazards.
More Motorcycles on the Road
The beauty of the summer invites motorcycle riders to take to the road more frequently. Additionally, those who are seeking or have recently obtained a motorcycle license may travel more during the summer months—like teen drivers, inexperienced motorcycle riders can put themselves and others at increased risk of crash or injury. As a driver, be aware that you are sharing the road with motorcyclists and check your mirrors often to see if there are any motorcyclists around you when turning or making sudden movements.
Steps to Take in the Event of a California Car Accident
Unfortunately, even the most cautious drivers can find themselves suffering a car accident injury at some point. If you suffer an auto accident injury in the Temecula or Murrieta area, seek medical treatment right away. At the scene, exchange insurance and contact information with the other parties, but refrain from admitting your fault in any way. Contact law enforcement so the responding officer can compile a police report, which can help support your auto accident claim later on. As soon as possible, reach out to a trusted and experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your options for obtaining the compensation you need to support your recovery.
Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your case with a dedicated Temecula auto accident attorney.