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Are Car Accidents More Common in the Summer?

It does not take long to notice the increase in sirens and flashing lights as of late. But why does there seem to be an increase in collisions this summer? Has it always been like this, and if so, why? The fact is that there are more car accidents in the summer than in any other season. Cross country road trips, weekend hikes to the mountains, and backyard barbecues and gatherings all put more people on the road, resulting in congestion. Where there is congestion there are drivers cutting each other off, impatient speeding, red-light running, and tailgating.

Summer Crash Statistics

According to an analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety, the summer is the most dangerous time to drive. Drunk drivers, distracted out-of-towners, people hauling boats and trailers, and overall larger traffic volume are some of the leading reasons why there are considerably more car accidents in the summer.

  • July and August are the two highest fatality months, followed by June, October, and September.
  • The most dangerous holiday to drive on is July 4th, Independence Day.

More Drivers are on the Road in Summertime

More drivers on the road mean more crashes. It is as simple as that. And summer is the season in which the average American spends the most miles on the road. According to AAA, Americans drive the least in the winter, averaging 25.7 miles per day, while summer is the busiest season, during which drivers average 30.6 miles per day.

Other Factors That Lead to More Crashes in Summer

  • Breakdowns Caused by Hot Weather—Vehicles are more likely to overheat, blow out a tire, or otherwise break down on the side of the road when it is hot out. Rubbernecking and too-late-lane changes can occur when stalled vehicles are parked on the shoulder of the road. In these types of collisions, it is usually the fault of the moving vehicles, though in some cases liability may fall on the shoulders of the driver whose vehicle broke down if they did an improper job of pulling to the side or failed to use flares or other warning devices.
  • Drunk Driving—Weddings, barbecues, sports events, boating, and nightclub hopping are all at their peak in the summer. And, along with those activities, so is drinking. Drunk driving skyrockets in the summer, starting with Memorial Day. Other holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day also see traffic deaths that, throughout the country, tally well into the hundreds. Yet, normal weekdays and weekends are also more hazardous in the summer than in the winter, fall, or spring months due to drunk drivers.
  • Construction Zone Crashes—Construction projects often get delayed throughout the rest of the year due to rain and other inclement weather issues that make road repairs impossible. As such, summer tends to be the biggest time of the year for road construction. Distracted driving (particularly cell phone use), speeding, unsafe passing, and failure to yield the right of way are common causes of collisions in construction zones.
  • Teenage and Young Adult Drivers—Because school is out during the summer, kids and young adults between the ages of 16 and 23 spend more time driving than they do in the fall, winter, and spring, when they would normally be attending high school or college classes. Young drivers—young males specifically—are the most dangerous people on the roads. They are the least experienced behind the wheel, and at the same time are the greatest risk-takers. Cell phone use and drinking and driving are also common among teen drivers, which no one can do safely, let alone a 17-year-old.

Recent Traffic Collision Trends During the Pandemic

Traffic collision deaths, per capita, rose by 17.5% from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2021, according to the New York Times, which was the largest two-year increase since World War II. There are a number of contributing factors to the increase in injury-causing and fatal traffic collisions, but the main problem is aggressive driving and speeding. The pandemic has created a general feeling of frustration, anger, and isolation.

Getting behind the wheel of a car is empowering, for some people, and because of the pent-up anger, fear, and anxiety that the pandemic has caused, many drivers are choosing to take their anger out on other road users. In addition to road rage, speeding (another form of aggressive driving) is on the rise, which is contributing to more crashes and more serious injuries when crashes do occur. Drivers are less patient than they were two years ago before COVID, and speeding is one way in which this

Other pandemic factors:

  • Crumbling Infrastructure—Some communities have been able to gather the funds to fix roads during the pandemic. Others, particularly communities of color, have not. Dilapidated roads and other traffic infrastructure are creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians and drivers. While traffic deaths have increased by 7.2 percent among all road users, deaths increased by 23 percent for Black Americans in the last two years.
  • Rising drug abuse—The opioid painkiller epidemic, which the COVID pandemic exacerbated due to job losses and anxiety, does not just affect those who are addicted. When high drivers get behind the wheel, they are as likely to cause collisions as drunk drivers. Marijuana use has also greatly increased, and more people are driving with high THC levels than in the past.

Call a Glendale Auto Collision Attorney Today

As a recent crash victim, it is in your best interest to talk to a Glendale traffic collision attorney as soon as possible. We can help you procure compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage to your car, and more. No car crash is cheap, and yours is likely much more expensive than you realize. Do not accept an offer from the at-fault party before discussing your case with a qualified personal injury attorney. Call a Glendale car accident attorney at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.

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    Ourfalian & Ourfalian Attorneys at Law

    Ourfalian & Ourfalian has successfully represented thousands of individuals and small businesses throughout the San Fernando Valley and Southern California over the last four decades. Our experienced attorneys focus on civil litigation which includes but is not limited to helping injury victims get just compensation after serious accidents. There is a distinct culture at Ourfalian & Ourfalian that is not easy to characterize but is felt everyday by the firm’s employees and clientele. Contact our Glendale Personal Injury & Civil Litigation law practice today to schedule a free initial consultation.