Summer is the perfect season for family vacations, road trips, camping, or just a quick getaway to Lake Travis or the Gulf Coast. However, summer is also a prime season for car accidents. Nobody’s summer travel plans include a car accident, so here are some tips to avoid accidents and stay safe, as well as what to do if you need a Texas car accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Summer Travel Accidents
There are many reasons why summer travel is so prone to car accidents and other types of injuries. The leading causes of summer travel accidents include:
- More people on the road. People tend to stay home during colder winter months and be out and about in the summer. It’s a simple fact that as more people take time off of school and work for road trips and holidays or go out to enjoy outdoor venues and events, there will be an increase in accidents.
- Heat-related risks. Summer weather can cause a wide range of symptoms due to overheating, which can increase the risk of illness or accident. Heat stress and dehydration can impair driving ability, while hot weather also increases the risks of vehicle problems like overheating and tire blowouts.
- More road work areas. In addition to being the season of vacations and road trips, summer is a busy time for construction and road work. Work zones create a higher risk of accidents for both drivers and road workers.
- Alcohol use. Unfortunately, many people attend summer gatherings and social events and use alcohol, which leads to an increase in impaired driving.
- Younger drivers. Summer is also a time when more young, inexperienced drivers are on the road. More teens get their licenses in spring and summer, and school breaks increase the chances that these new drivers will be on the road.
- More distractions. Summer is a season when there are simply more distractions for drivers. Consulting a map or GPS, high numbers of pedestrians and activity on the sidewalks, and even the beautiful scenery of the Texas landscape can all increase the risk of distracted driving.
- Unusual vehicle types or configurations. Finally, more summer drivers are driving less familiar vehicle types. They may be driving a van or RV, towing a boat or camper, or have mountain bikes or kayaks on a roof rack. For drivers who are unfamiliar or inexperienced with these vehicle configurations, there is an increased risk of accidents.
As you can see, special activities, schedules, and the demands of the summer season can significantly change driving behavior, increasing the risk of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
How to Stay Safe While Traveling During the Summer
In order to stay safe and maximize summer fun, make sure to follow these safety tips:
- Review the rules. If you are towing a boat, camper, or large trailer, review the applicable rules. Most trailers need to be registered for use on the highway while pulling anything over 25,999 pounds requires a special driver’s license classification. You may also want to review and/or increase your insurance coverage for these types of vehicles.
- Prevent vehicle overheating. Before driving in warm weather, check your fluid levels and coolant system. Inspect hoses and belts for signs of cracks and wear. Bring extra coolant and oil with you, and avoid overloading the car. While driving, keep an eye on your temperature gauge and look for battery strain.
- Clean out your vehicle. Summer heat can cause items inside a car to melt or explode. Remove dirt and mess so you know what’s inside your car. Remove disposable lighters, batteries, or aerosol cans. Be mindful of items that may melt, like chocolate or crayons.
- Keep the inside of the vehicle cool. Protect yourself and your vehicle by parking in the shade and or using a windshield sun shield to reduce the interior temperature of your car.
- Protect yourself and your passengers. Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and stay hydrated in hot weather. While it is rare, it is possible to get sunburned through a car window, and keeping yourself safe and healthy is essential for good driving. Always have an emergency first aid kit in the car.
- Drive defensively. In summer, as in every season, driving defensively is the best way to stay safe on the road. Obey the speed limit, avoid distractions, allow generous following distance, and be cautious in road work or high pedestrian traffic areas.
In the event of an accident, even if it seems minor, it is important to immediately seek medical attention and always consult a car accident attorney in Texas before accepting an insurance settlement.
What Can Pastrana and García Injury Law Do for You?
The summer season poses special risks for car accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, Pastrana & García Injury Law will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, and you don’t pay unless we win your case. Our Pflugerville car accident lawyers have decades of experience and have recovered millions in damages for accident victims in central Texas. Contact us today for a free consultation.