Summertime often brings great weather for travel and outdoor activities, but the season also introduces the potential for dangerous automobile accidents. Many of the unique seasonal circumstances that lead to these auto accidents are avoidable.
To help combat the potential hazards of a summertime drive , we at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome have identified five of the most common risks and coinciding preventative tips that will help you and your loved ones stay safe on the road this summer.
1. Watch for an Increased Number of Pedestrians
Generally speaking, good weather leads to more people spending time outdoors, including along major roadways. You can expect to see a greater number of joggers, cyclists, and hikers near roads in summertime versus the fall or winter, especially as state restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID19) continue to limit some indoor activities. Drivers should exercise special caution when near recreational areas where pedestrians may be more common, particularly trailheads, parks, beaches, and campgrounds.
Additionally, because most children enjoy several months of time off from school, you can also expect to see more kids out and about during the day. Many children are not as aware of their surroundings and tend to suddenly and unintentionally move into an active roadway. As a result, drivers should always stay aware of their surroundings in areas where children are common, including neighborhoods and playgrounds.
2. Never Drive While Intoxicated or Impaired
Summer block parties, barbecues, and beach days are common fixtures of the season, and with them often comes alcohol and sometimes other recreational drugs. While this is true of any season, one should never attempt to drive while intoxicated or impaired following a summer gathering. It is perfectly appropriate to consume alcohol at these events, but one must do so responsibly. Driving while intoxicated is illegal and places you at a much greater risk of causing an accident, potentially harming you and others.
If you are planning to drink at an event, the best practice is to not drive at all. Consider designating a non-drinking driver to get you home or taking a taxi or rideshare service to and from the gathering. If you do drive to the event and end up becoming intoxicated, do not risk driving home while impaired. Instead, leave your vehicle at the event overnight and find a safe way to get home. That can include finding a designated driver, asking the host to stay overnight, or hiring a taxi or rideshare service.
3. Remember that More Drivers May Be Unfamiliar with the Area
Many people use summer for vacation and travel, which means there may be more people on the road than usual. Some of these people may be only visiting your area and are consequently less familiar with how to navigate your community’s roadways. This can result in an increased number of sudden stops, abrupt turns, and other unanticipated maneuvers from other vehicles. If you are not paying close attention to the road, one of these unexpected movements can result in an auto accident.
As is always the case when driving, the solution is to maintain focus on the road and eliminate any potential distractions, like eating or texting. Make sure to program your GPS prior to departure and use hands-free voice commands to handle any changes. Be mindful of other vehicles on the road. Maintaining an appropriate distance between the automobiles nearest you can give you crucial seconds to respond if a vehicle makes a sudden, potentially dangerous maneuver.
4. Be Wary of Drowsy Driving
Driving while fatigued can be problem any time of the year, but many summer activities, including late-night parties and road trips, can lead to more scenarios where you might find yourself driving well into the night. Falling asleep at the wheel can result in a catastrophic accident, injuring you or others. If you are feeling especially tired, do not take the risk of operating an automobile. If you become tired while driving, get off the road as soon as possible and find a safe place to rest.
If you are considering a road trip, make sure to plan frequent periods in which to rest, including spending the night at hotels along your route. If traveling with one or more companions, consider sharing driving duties, giving you time to rest and avoid fatigue.
5. Do Not Neglect Regular Maintenance, Especially Your Tires
Warmer temperatures and increased mileage put your tires at higher risk for blowing out while on the road. Make sure your tire pressure is at an appropriate level, comparing the readings on a gauge with the manufacturer recommendations, typically listed on a label inside your car’s doorframe. Also check your tires’ tread: If they are worn down to only one-sixteenth of an inch, your tires need replacing.
Tires are not the only thing to focus on, however. Conduct regular servicing and maintenance checks with a mechanic to make sure your automobile is in proper shape for the summer season.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered an Auto Accident?
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an automobile accident, we want to help fight for the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys of the Law Offices of James A. Welcome have over 10 years of experience in representing injured individuals and their families throughout Connecticut.
Call (203) 806-7922 or contact us online to request a free consultation.