During different seasons, there are different driving hazards to be aware of. Knowing the season’s risks, will help you prepare, and avoid car accidents this summer season.
1. Road Congestion
Summer is prime vacation season, with roads full of trailers, road trippers, cars packed to the brim, and teenagers driving to the beach on a hot day. A large portion of accidents happens in traffic, especially with tourists unfamiliar with the roads. The best way to avoid traffic-related accidents is to follow the posted speed, stay alert, and leave plenty of space between you and the car ahead of you.
2. Road Construction
Canada’s harsh winter ends all plans for construction, which means warmer weather brings loads of large projects that clog major roads and detour many routes. Construction zones are an especially dangerous area, with workers scattered around, lane shifts, smaller lanes, one-way streets, and traffic. Delays can result in aggressive driving such as impatience, tailgating, and weaving, which not only puts other drivers at risk, but cyclists, pedestrians, and workers in the area. Drive slowly through construction zones and be patient. Watch for signs, cones, and directions that will help you drive smoothly, and safely through the construction zone.
3. Alcohol Impairment
During the winter season, alcohol-impaired driving rates increase around the holidays and then fall steadily, however, in the summer season, impaired driving is at a constant high. Lots of summer activities are associated with drinking alcohol. Friendly barbeques, beach days, and just in general, warmer weather. These things may be seen as casual drinking that does not require a designated driver or taxi service, but even 2 drinks can affect your ability to drive safely, putting you, and everyone around you at risk. Make driving arrangements if you plan to drink, and never get in a car with an intoxicated driver. Summer activities and fun also need to be safe and responsible to ensure that you and everyone around you get home safely.
4. More Sharing
With clear roads, more motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians share the road, which means, if you are in a car, you must be more cautious of sharing the road with more vulnerable users. This means avoiding distractions, always scanning for activity, always checking your mirrors, signaling your intentions, and checking your blind spots. In the summer months, crosswalks are used much more, so thoroughly scan, and slow before approaching a crosswalk to avoid a collision. In general, properly, and safely sharing the road decreases the chance of serious injury due to an accident.
5. Hot Temperatures are Hard on Your Car
As the temperature increases, it becomes more difficult for large mechanical equipment like cars to function properly. The heat of the pavement wears away at car tires, and affects stop time, especially when it’s raining. The heat also increases the chances of breakdowns due to faster water evaporation in the battery, gas evaporating more quickly, and oil being used up faster. Regularly checking your car for signs of any issues can help avoid malfunctions before they happen, saving you from an inconvenient, and dangerous trip in the future.
Cantini Law has over 30 years of experience representing Atlantic Canadians who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. For more articles and safety tips, go to https://cantiniinjurylaw.ca/blog/ or subscribe to our newsletter.