Just because the weather is turning from blustery cold to pleasantly warm, doesn't necessarily mean your driving anxiety should disappear. Although you may not have to worry about slipping on ice or getting lost in a blizzard, a host of new driving dangers arises with the spring flowers. However, as long as you know the potential dangers, you can protect against them.
Spring Braking: Seasonal Distractions That Contribute to Warm Weather Car Accidents
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Road Weather Management Program, nearly 54% of car accidents occur during spring and summer months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration verifies this statistic through its Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) by showing that fatal car accidents tend to peak during the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Why the increased risk? What is it about warmer months that make them more dangerous than winter months? Unfortunately, a lot! Here is a list of just a few seasonal distractions that can cause you to suffer a catastrophic accident:
- Increased pedestrian and bike traffic. Once the weather warms up, people are more inclined to stay outside longer. This means more people in crosswalks, bike lanes, sidewalks, and curbs where they can cause dangerous distractions or potentially get in the way of traffic.
- Rise in road rage. When you're uncomfortable, little things can quickly get on your nerves. Along with sunshine, spring and summer bring warmer weather, and the warmer you are, the more uncomfortable you may feel (the same goes for everyone around you). As a result, minor errors, or drivers who feel entitled, can cause others to retaliate without thinking of the consequences.
- Vacation traffic. May through August is peak vacation time. This means that traffic will not only be heavier during this period, but many drivers may not know the roads they're driving on, braking suddenly, swerving abruptly, and making other potentially dangerous moves.
- Seasonal growth. Overgrown bushes, trees, and foliage can make it difficult to see around corners that were previously clear with bare winter limbs. This blockage can make it difficult for you to see oncoming traffic and impossible for traffic to see you.
- Sun glare. Although sunshine is much appreciated, it can cause visibility issues while driving. Not only can glares be distracting, but the bright light could temporarily blind you long enough to cause an accident. Wearing sunglasses to decrease the glare can be helpful, but sunglasses can also cause visibility issues by increasing your blind-spot and decreasing your peripheral vision.
- Decreased visibility due to rain and fog. Although blizzards are extremely difficult to see through, generally traffic will be slower when there is a threat of ice. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for torrential downpours. Although the visibility is similar, traffic won't necessarily proceed with as much caution as they would in colder months.
- Increased drowsiness. After a day in the warm sun, getting back inside an air conditioned car can be absolute bliss. Unfortunately, this bliss can take its toll on your energy level. Certain chemicals in your brain that make you tired (melatonin) increase when you go from sun to shade, which can cause you to become sleepy and less aware of your surroundings
Finding Comfort and Help, No Matter When Your Accident Occurs
It is an unfortunate reality that car collisions can occur anytime and anywhere. However, no matter the cause, you should be comforted in the knowledge that we will have your back if you have suffered severe or permanent collision injuries caused by someone else's mistakes. Call us today to get experienced advice and information about your rights for an auto accident injury claim. Call now!
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