Summertime and the livin’ is easy – that line from a classic George Gershwin song is how many Americans feel about the warmer months of June, July and August. Everyone is ready to kick back, relax, take a vacation and enjoy spending some time outside. For Central Pennsylvania drivers, there’s no snow and ice to worry about and plenty of places to explore within a few hours’ drive.
Yet those headed out of town for a weekend trip or vacation may not realize the dangers that come with summer driving. There are several potential driving hazards, including the following:
- Road constructions zones – A lot of road work is completed in the summer, which means more cars are traveling through construction zones and more road workers are vulnerable as a result. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal crashes in work zones rose 11 percent between 2018 and 2019. To avoid a crash, drivers need to follow posted speed limits in construction zones, slow down even more when they see road crews working near traffic and keep plenty of distance between their car and the one in front of them. Rear-end crashes are the most common accidents that occur in work zones.
- More traffic – With coronavirus restrictions fully lifting in several states, many Americans likely will head out for a vacation. Several offices are beginning to reopen, meaning commuter traffic will increase. Any time more traffic is on the road, your chances of becoming involved in a crash increase.
- More inexperienced teen drivers – With school over and a more open schedule, teen drivers spend more time on the road in the summer. Because teens are inexperienced drivers, they are more likely to become involved in an accident. In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has become known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer because the chances of fatal teen driving accidents spike 15% during this time.
- More motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians – With warmer weather, more motorcyclists and bicyclists take to the roads. More pedestrians are out walking, especially in residential areas. Drivers need to stay alert, making sure they don’t miss seeing a motorcyclist or bicyclist in their blind spot or a pedestrian begin crossing at an intersection or crosswalk.
- Heavy rainstorms– Summer temperatures can sometimes lead to volatile weather. If you are traveling in an area where heavy rainstorms are common in summer, you may find yourself facing an increased risk of a hydroplaning accident.
By watching out for common summer driving hazards, you are more likely to avoid a potentially devastating car crash. You and your passengers instead will arrive safely at your intended destination, ready to enjoy your summer getaway.