The summer season is the time of year when Pennsylvania residents enjoy the warm weather and soaking up the sun. Kids are generally out of school, college students are home on break, it’s prime weather for construction crews to chip away at their to-do list, and residents and tourists alike travel up and down the state’s highways and interstates headed to another attraction.
Driving is always a potentially hazardous activity. The summer poses a unique set of dangers that motorists generally don’t encounter during other parts of the year. Read on to learn more about the top five summer road hazards you need to watch out for this season.
1. An Uptick in Motorists and Pedestrians
The summer months of June, July, and August mark what safety analysts have historically referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” At least 43% of annual crashes occur during this part of the year. Why?
It has to do with the uptick in motorists circulating on the road during the summer, including college students, teachers, tourists, kids with their caregivers, and, most notably, inexperienced teen drivers.
Teens need to occupy themselves during their months out of school. They tend to drive back and forth between friends’ homes, activities, eating establishments, and everywhere in between.
There aren’t only more adolescent drivers on the road, but they’re more apt to be hauling around some friends, too, perhaps giving way to distractions and peer pressure to speed or otherwise drive recklessly.
Also, there’s a stronger likelihood of there being bicyclists, pedestrians, and children playing out and about, all of which put them at increased risk for getting hurt by motorists who aren’t attuned to being mindful of them.
2. Construction Zones
As a Williamsport resident, you’ve likely heard someone refer to there being two seasons, winter and “construction season” before. The warmer it is outside, the more likely you will encounter a road construction crew working on a stretch of the roadway near you.
These road construction zones you encounter may lead to detours, causing you to need to take an unfamiliar route to your destination. The danger in doing so is that you may not be familiar with the roadway’s design and speed limits, factors that may increase your vulnerability to becoming involved in a crash.
Even if no detour exists, there may be a reduction in speed limits, shifting of lanes, lane closures, and other potential hazards that, if you (or other motorists) don’t notice them, could leave you involved in a crash.
3. Intoxicated Motorists
A few different holidays occur during the summer. There are also often festivals, concerts, and other social events scheduled for this time of the year. Many homeowners host barbecues and other parties during these warm months as well. The uptick in celebrations during the summer opens the doors for an increasing number of intoxicated individuals to travel down the road.
Research shows that July 4th ranks first among all holidays as far as alcohol-involved crashes are concerned. Although Memorial Day technically occurs in the spring, alcohol-related collisions are high during that celebratory weekend. The same goes for Labor Day.
4. Tire and Other Automobile Performance Issues
The hotter the temperatures get, the more likely your tires will fail. The air pressure within your tires tends to expand in warm temperatures, ultimately causing blowouts. Instances in which tires overheat can have the same effect. A situation where your tire blows out may easily cause you to lose control of your vehicle, leaving you vulnerable to unexpectedly traveling into oncoming traffic.
Also, your car’s engine (and other motorists’) could overheat, causing a sudden breakdown in the middle of traffic, making you a lame duck that can be struck by other motorists or cause you to strike them.
5. Fluctuations in Weather
Heat isn’t the only weather phenomenon you need to worry about in the summer. You must also prepare yourself for sun glare, which is a situation that can make seeing anything around you virtually impossible.
There’s also the potential of having to navigate roadways in heavy rain, hail, lightning, or amidst flooding. These weather phenomena may impact visibility and affect the integrity of the roadway, making brakes less responsive than they typically are. Some safety analysts suggest that the roads can be particularly dangerous during the initial 20 minutes following a light rainfall.
When Should You Get an Attorney Involved in Your Summertime Auto Accident Case?
As referenced above, many motor vehicle crashes occur in the summer. However, not all of them warrant the involvement of a lawyer. Ones resulting in limited physical damage to a vehicle or relatively minor injuries can often be resolved between motorists and insurers with a mere submission of a claim and a few bills.
Crashes that leave motorists with life-threatening or life-altering injuries or claim their lives are best handled by attorneys like ours at Stapp Law, LLC. If you’re curious why that’s the case, it comes down to insurers always tending to deny liability to keep their payouts low. Also, it can be challenging for you to anticipate how costly taking care of your health care needs may be in the future. Attorneys are familiar with making such determinations.
At your initial case evaluation consultation, you can expect your lawyer to go over all details leading up to and following your accident. Your attorney will discuss Pennsylvania liability standards and whether proving negligence occurred is possible in your case. Your conversation will then wrap up with a discussion of your legal rights should you decide to exercise them.
There’s no fee associated with sitting down with an attorney to discuss your case. You have nothing to lose in attending this meeting with our attorneys but instead a wealth of knowledge to gain. So, contact us to schedule your initial case review today.