Why Car Accidents In California Increase In Summer

car accidents

Summer driving in California offers beautiful scenery, sun, and warm weather, but there are reasons to use caution when hitting the roads. Car accidents tend to rise in the summer in California and nationwide.

According to the National Safety Council, July and August are two of the months with the most fatal auto accidents nationwide. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that auto accidents cause 30% more deaths in summer than in winter. Learn why auto accidents rise in the summer in California in this article, and speak to our Encino car accident attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian if you have questions about an accident case.

More People On The Roads

One of the most significant factors in more car accidents in the summer in California is more people are on the road. California is a beautiful state; many residents hit the road in the summer, and many tourists do, too. However, many drivers may need to become more familiar with the streets and highways of California, and heavier traffic can trigger more serious auto accidents.

Distracted Driving

There are plenty of beautiful sights in this part of California, including the Japanese Garden, Sherman Oaks Castle Park, and Los Encinos State Historic Park. It is natural for tourists and others to be distracted when they drive in this area, but being distracted behind the wheel is always hazardous. Texting and driving is also a bigger problem, with more people on the roads in the summer months.

Road Construction

Many road construction projects are done in the summer in California in sunny, warmer weather. Road construction leads to traffic, frustration, and accidents. Also, routes and roads can change with all the construction, leading to driver confusion and additional auto accidents.

More Young Drivers

In the summer, most teens are out of school. So they may be excited about driving by themselves or with their friends. But teenagers are more likely to get in accidents than other age groups, so accidents tend to rise. Also, many teenage drivers need to gain maturity and experience to avoid getting into accidents that more seasoned drivers know how to avoid.

Bad Weather

Summer can trigger more severe storms and flooding and, with them, more car accidents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that almost 50% of weather-related fatal auto accidents happen because of flooding.

More Motorcyclists

Warm and sunny weather usually means there are more motorcycles on California roads. Unfortunately, many drivers do not see motorcycles as quickly as cars, and accidents are more common.

Alcohol Use

Summer is one of the best times to take a break, go on vacation, and party. Unfortunately, when people gather to have a good time, alcohol often is a factor, and too many of them may wind up getting behind the wheel and getting in accidents. Many serious and fatal accidents happen yearly in California because of drunk driving. If a drunk driver injures you, our Encino personal injury attorneys can help you in a car accident lawsuit.

How To Avoid Summer Car Accidents In California

While some summer auto accidents are unavoidable, there are actions you can take to make them less likely. Observe the following safety tips to stay safe on California’s roads this summer:

Obey California Traffic Laws

Research shows that speeding and other violations of traffic laws trigger more auto accidents. Unfortunately, some drivers, especially teens, tend to speed and act aggressively behind the wheel, including running red lights and driving under the influence. If you see other drivers disobeying traffic laws and endangering public safety, dial 911.

Drive Defensively

Summer temperatures can make some drivers act aggressively but do not return the favor. If another driver drives aggressively near you, stay calm and get away from them as soon as possible. Road rage only leads to accidents and other problems.

Check Your Car

Before you leave the parking lot or driveway, it is always wise to do a fast safety check to reduce the chances of an accident. Look at your tires, check the brakes, brake lights, and headlights. Doing these simple things can keep you safe and avoid serious car accidents.

Check The Weather Forecast

Weather can change in California in the summer, so it helps to be ready for anything when driving. Before leaving the house, check to see if any storms or showers are coming. Then, work at home or wait to run your errands until the sky is clear.

Watch For Motorcycles

The NHTSA reports that 70% of deadly two-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur between May and October, which is when more bikers are on the roads. You are responsible for being aware of all traffic on the road, including motorcycles, so watch for those smaller vehicles. Check your blind spots and be sure a motorcycle isn’t approaching when you make a turn.

Watch Out For Pedestrians And Cyclists

In most areas of California, there are more cyclists and pedestrians outside in the summer. Show them plenty of consideration to avoid serious auto accidents. These types of accidents usually cause severe injuries, and you could face a car accident lawsuit and criminal charges if you hit a pedestrian or biker.

Look For Tourists

You may see more out-of-state license plates on the roads in the summer in California. This is because tourists do not know the roads as well as local drivers, and they can be more accident-prone.

Never Drive Drowsy

Driving when you are tired can be as dangerous as drunk driving. The NHTSA states that drowsy driving led to at least 91,000 auto accidents in 2017, with 800 deaths. So ensure you get a whole night’s sleep before hitting the roads in California.

Speak to Our Encino Car Accident Attorneys Now

Our attorneys hope you have a safe and happy summer in California, but sometimes, car accidents happen despite our best efforts. If you were in a car accident with injuries in Encino, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact our Encino car accident attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550-7777 to discuss your case.

Tips To Keep Teen Drivers Safer

teen driver safety

You spent years trying to keep your children safe from danger, but now they are driving, and keeping them out of danger while on the roads is critical. Make sure your children drive safely with the following tips, and if you have questions about a car accident, our Glendale car accident attorney at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can help.

Some Young Drivers Are Not Ready To Drive

In 2013, people between 15-19 were only 7% of the American population, but they were involved in 11% of the national costs of car accidents annually. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that teenage drivers from 16-19 are almost three times as likely as drivers 20 and older to be in fatal accidents. This is usually because the young driver needs to gain the experience and judgment to handle a car safely in challenging circumstances, such as merging, turning left at a busy intersection, or driving in bad weather.

Furthermore, the teenager may need more motor coordination and judgment to handle complex driving requirements. For instance, driving is usually the first time that many teens need to coordinate the actions of their hands, feet, and eyes. Young drivers are also more likely to misjudge traffic and get into accidents. Teens also may be more likely to text, not use their seatbelts, speed, and tailgate.

None of this is to say that teens cannot be safe drivers, but it is up to a parent’s judgment to determine when a young driver is ready for this serious responsibility. As you prepare your young driver for being behind the wheel, encourage them to be safe drivers with the following tips:

Get Rid Of Driver Distractions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that most car accidents for teen and adult drivers are because of distractions. Whether the distraction is a cell phone, drowsiness, eating, drinking, or talking to passengers, distracted driving is unsafe, especially for young drivers.

Remind your teen driver to eliminate all distractions when they are behind the wheel. They also should keep their focus down the road so they are ready if it is necessary to stop suddenly.

No Cell Phones

The cell phone is the biggest distraction for all drivers and can be even more so for teens. Therefore, you should require your young driver to shut off the phone and put it away when they are behind the wheel.

Wear Seatbelts

It is well known that wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the chances of serious injury or death in an accident. Every state except New Hampshire requires drivers to wear seatbelts, including California. Unfortunately, many young drivers choose not to wear seatbelts and suffer needless injuries and deaths in accidents. Also, all passengers should be strongly encouraged to wear seatbelts in your teen’s vehicle. A 2019 survey found that 43% of high school students do not always use seatbelts when riding in a car someone else drives.

Limit Driving At Night

Fatal accidents with limited visibility are more common at night, but there is even more risk for young drivers. Therefore, tell your teen to limit their driving after 8 or 9 PM for at least their first six months of driving. You also should practice driving at night with your teen when you think they have enough driving experience.

Do Not Drive With Friends

Many states, including California, have driver’s license restrictions for new drivers. For example, during the first year, the law states that minor drivers cannot drive passengers who are under 20 unless they have a licensed guardian or parent with them. However, some young drivers get into serious accidents partially because they drive with their friends and are distracted. In addition, California’s graduated driver’s license law applies to those who are 16 and 17, so make sure your young driver is driving alone.

Limit Music

Music needs to be kept to a minimum for young drivers, and the volume should be kept low. It also is important to stress they should not fiddle with their radio or cell phone music when they are behind the wheel.

No Speeding

The NHTSA reports that speeding was involved in 27% of fatal accidents in 2019 when there was a teen driver. Also, a recent Governors Highway Safety Association study found that teens were involved in more than 19,000 speeding-related accidents from 200-2011.

Practice Driving Often

Even after getting their California driver’s license, it takes a lot of practice to become the safest driver possible. So encourage your teenage driver to drive by themselves to school, work, the store, and more to get more driving time under their belt.

How To Teach Your Young Driver To Drive

Keeping the safety tips above in mind will help your young driver stay safe. Now, here are some additional tips for teaching your teen to drive when you are with them:

  • Before leaving the driveway, talk about your route and the driving skills that will be practiced.
  • Use a calm, even voice when you tell your teen to turn or brake. Getting upset only makes the situation more difficult for your teen.
  • If the driver makes a mistake, request calmly that they pull over. Then, talk about what they did wrong and how they can improve next time.
  • Encourage them to talk aloud about what they are doing when driving and what they see other drivers doing.
  • After each time you practice driving with your teen, ask if they think they did well that day. Let the child point out any mistakes they made, then you can provide your input. Also, ask what your teen could do differently during the next session. Finally, remember to provide praise for the driving skills they did well.
  • Maintain a log where you enter how many hours the teen drove, the route and any comments on the driving skills they practiced.

Contact Our Glendale Car Accident Attorneys Now

The teen driver safety tips mentioned in this article can help keep young drivers safe and healthy. However, if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, and our Glendale car accident attorneys can help. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian now at (818) 550-7777.

Are Car Accidents More Common in the Summer?

car accidents

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.