Safe Driving Tips for the Summer
Summer means more time on the road, adventuring to find new places. Birmingham and its surrounding cities have highways that are busy with tourists getting further south, local college students excited about time away from school, and busy families looking for fun. Despite all this, summer is still one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Here are some summer driving tips to keep you safe when you are behind the wheel.
Summer Driving Statistics
According to road fatality research, July and August are the most dangerous times to drive on the road. The average daily fatality rate for these two months is 116. July 4th, in particular, is an exceptionally dangerous time to drive – with an average fatality rate of 141 deaths. While rates fell as years progressed, the holiday still represents the single most dangerous single day to drive in the year.
Summer months are more dangerous primarily because more drivers are on the road. Motorcyclist deaths, for example, are at their highest in July – as it’s the time of year more bikers enjoy riding. The presence of more drivers and vacationers increases the risk for all drivers on the road – regardless of situation.
Tips for Safe Summer Driving
Safe driving techniques for the summer are not very different from other periods in the year. Driving safely requires eliminating distractions and practicing caution at all times. In general, these tips are must-follows to stay safe on the road this summer:
Do Not Drink and Drive
One of the most dangerous activities you can do behind the wheel is to drink and drive. Alcohol decreases motor skills and impairs judgment, making drunk drivers less capable of driving safe, and more willing to take risks. Driving under the influence is illegal and is one of the leading causes of car accidents – including fatal crashes.
Put Away the Cell Phone
A momentary distraction can cause a lifetime of consequences with a single crash. Cell phone use while driving is under fire across the country, as more and more crashes are the result of distracted drivers using their phones or texting behind the wheel.
Follow Safety Laws
Laws, such as speed limits and using seat belts, exist to keep drivers safe. Follow all speed limits and obey all stop signs and yield signs. Wearing a seat belt is effective – 48% of those killed in auto accidents in 2016 were unrestrained at the time of collision, and seat belts saved an estimated 14,668 lives.
Practice Defensive Driving
One of the best practices on the road is to drive defensively. Rather than speeding up to pass or weaving in and out of traffic, it is safer to slow down in response to more aggressive drivers. Avoid passing back and forth with traffic, and drive with traffic rather than speeding up. Always monitor traffic patterns and avoid engaging in aggressive traffic behaviors.
Maintain Your Car
Many accidents are the result of poorly-serviced vehicles. Follow mechanics’ advice about maintaining your car. Change the oil every three months or 3,000 miles. When issues arise, such as a check engine light or low tire pressure, address it immediately.
Do Not Drive While Stressed
Intense emotions can impair a driver’s judgment on the road. It may be safer to pull over and calm down when angry, sad, or upset rather than risk a momentary lapse in judgment causing permanent damages.
Talk with a Birmingham Attorney for Help
Summer safety is a serious issue. Regardless of where you are heading this summer, keep these tips in mind when driving. Knowing what to do to avoid an accident can mean the difference between a fun summer vacation and a possible catastrophic injury.
Call our Birmingham car accident lawyers today.