Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day are some of the deadliest holidays on U.S. roads, and it is no coincidence that they are all summer holidays. The nation sees a greater number of motor vehicle accident fatalities in the summer months of May through September than are seen in all other months of the year.
Summer driving is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Summer drivers are more apt to drive drunk, drive drowsy and encounter congested traffic. Any of these factors can easily play a significant role in a car crash.
Drunk driving in the summer
People are more apt to drive drunk in the summer, especially during holidays. It is easy to assume that you are sober enough to drive after having a drink or two.
However, depending on how quickly you consume these drinks, your weight, your gender and other factors, it might only take a couple of drinks to be too impaired to drive safely. And, as we already know, drunk drivers are at significant risk of causing a car crash.
Drowsy driving in the summer
Summer drivers might drive drowsy, especially if they are on a long road trip. Virginia is a popular destination for tourists who may drive for hours to reach their destination.
Drowsy driving can lead to impaired senses, reduced reaction time and falling asleep behind the wheel. A driver who has been awake for 20 hours can be as impaired as a drunk driver.
Drowsy driving cannot always be cured by a cup of coffee or a cigarette. If you are drowsy behind the wheel, pull over to a safe place and take a short nap or stop driving altogether until you are better rested.
Summertime traffic congestion
Summer drivers are more apt to encounter congested traffic, especially in popular tourist areas, simply due to the increased number of vehicles on the road. When there are a greater number of cars on the road, there is a greater chance that a crash will occur.
Motorists caught in congested traffic can be more apt to tailgate, excessively pass other vehicles or even experience road rage. Aggressive driving tactics put the safety of all motorists at risk and can be the root cause of a collision.
Don’t let a car crash ruin your summer
Motor vehicle accidents can easily turn summer fun into a nightmare. Car crashes often cause significant injuries that last for months, or years or are even permanent. This will not only affect your summer plans, but your health, job, ability to care for your family and your finances.
Thus, it is best to try to avoid a summertime car crash altogether. You can do your part to avoid causing a summertime car crash by watching your alcohol intake, limiting the number of hours in a row that you spend behind the wheel and keeping your cool when you encounter traffic.