Now that summer is here, you and your family may be more than ready to head out on a road-trip vacation or enjoy a long weekend getaway. Your teen may have just received his driver’s license and you’re happy to allow him to use the car to get to his summer job and meet up with friends.
Yet, you and your teen may not completely realize the risks that come with summer driving. Without snow or ice to make the roads more slippery, you assume fewer accidents happen in the warmer months. Yet, that assumption would be wrong.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), August is the month when the most fatal car accidents occur. For teen drivers, the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has become known as the 100 Deadliest Days. Because more teen drivers are on the road during these months with school out, more accidents have occurred as a result. In fact, between 2008 and 2018, more than 8,300 people have died during the 100 Deadliest Days in crashes involving teen drivers.
So, here are five summer road dangers you and your teen should be aware of:
- Road construction. With summer comes more road construction. Drivers need to watch for upcoming road construction and merge before the work zone begins. Drivers also need to follow posted speed limits in work zones and avoid tailgating, to avoid a work zone crash.
- More bicyclists and motorcyclists. With warmer weather, drivers share the road with more bicyclists and motorcyclists. Motorists always need to watch for these riders. They need to check their blind spot for motorcyclists and bicyclists before turning and allow for plenty of space when passing a bicyclist or following a motorcyclist.
- More pedestrians. More pedestrians also are out when the weather is nicer. Drivers need to watch for pedestrians crossing at intersections and crosswalks, in urban areas and in residential areas. Drivers also need to avoid passing a car stopped in front of a crosswalk. Likely, a pedestrian is crossing there.
- More traffic. With more people taking vacations comes greater traffic levels, especially on freeways and on weekends. Avoid distracted driving or becoming a drowsy driver to better your chances of avoiding a crash in high-traffic areas.
- Other inexperienced teen drivers. More teen drivers on the road means more inexperienced drivers. So, practice defensive driving techniques to avoid a crash. Have your teen sign a contract to avoid distracted driving and limit the number of passengers they can have in the car to reduce their crash risks.
Having fun and making memories on a summer road trip are part of the reason so many people enjoy taking them. By keeping in mind the driving hazards you and your teen face in the summer, you will be better prepared for that much-needed getaway and arrive at your destination safely.