Certain months see more auto accidents than others. As a motorist, you likely believe that the colder months are most dangerous. Snow and ice can decrease your control over your vehicle. And rain can make the roads slippery. Yet, the colder months are comparatively safe for drivers – it’s the warm summer months you need to pay attention to, especially August.
Why August is so dangerous
Between 2012 and 2016, nearly 16,000 motorists died in auto accidents during the month of August. August represents the peak of summer, and the season sees around 20% more traffic on roadways than the rest of the year. This increase in traffic is in part due to vacations, since many people take trips during summer. Summer holidays and events also contribute to this rise, and for some people these involve drinking.
August – and other summer months – are also dangerous due to weather conditions and the type of traffic on the road. Motorists often feel more confident when driving in clear weather, which can lead them to travel faster or take risks behind the wheel. And once summer arrives, more small vehicles, like motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles, appear on the road. Many drivers do not look out for these, which puts their operators at risk.
Despite the dangers of summertime driving, there are steps you can take as a motorist to make the roads safer for others. By paying attention and traveling at a safe speed, you decrease your risk of causing an accident and are more likely to notice small vehicles and road hazards. If you are taking a road trip, make sure you stop and rest if you’re feeling tired. Doing so can help you avoid drowsy driving, which spikes during the summer. And if you are attending an event or holiday celebration where you know you will drink, leaving your car at home is the safest option. Getting a ride from a friend or relative or using a ride-share service could make the difference between a crash and a safe journey home.