A big danger, which drivers are exposed to throughout the winter season, is manifested in the impaired braking abilities due to snowy and icy pavements and weakened visibility during snowfalls. That is totally justified and has been considered in detail in one of our previous blog posts. Now that it’s finally the summertime period, let us take a look at other, but no less dangerous, types of risks that occur.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US reports a death rate increase of 29% in the summer months due to road accidents. One of the most common reasons for that is drowsy driving. Staying outside in hot temperatures might lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, causing overall driver fatigue. With that comes impaired reaction speed and poor concentration ability, which both increase the chances of an accident occurrence.
Another reason, inherent to the summertime season and impacting the road situation, is increased traffic congestion. Here, certain road user categories might be pointed out. First of all, the summer period is the best time for motorcyclists and bicycle riders to get back on the road, meaning that a greater number of vehicles can be witnessed on the highways. That, in its turn, creates a favorable environment for traffic accidents. Furthermore, with the return of two-wheelers, additional pressure is put on car drivers, demanding their increased attention to smaller vehicles and "blind spots" on the roads. Secondly, congestion is also intensified by the numerous tourists who choose to travel during summer vacations. And, because vacation destinations are frequently distant and unfamiliar, drivers are once again unsure of the exact routes and turns to take, adding to the overall danger of the traffic situation. Last but not least, there are construction works, which are done on a regular basis during the dry and warm summer months. In this case, driving is complicated by temporarily narrowed traffic lanes and locally increased congestion, raising the risk of car crashes.
Sure enough, maintenance of the car’s operating condition is just as important as the overall driver’s state and unique traffic situations of the summer season. Specifically, closer attention should be paid to the tire pressure, as it tends to increase in the heat. That makes the tires’ material more prone to sudden rips and overall wear and tear, putting the driver and the passengers in extra danger.
Summertime is unquestionably the most anticipated and highly exciting period of the year. However, it also brings certain risks to the road situation, expressed in the increased accident and fatality numbers. As the saying goes, "Forewarned is forearmed". Keep in mind possible dangers that the driver and the vehicle might be subject to in the heat season and travel safely.