It’s Not All Sunshine and Daisies: The Very Real Dangers of Summer Driving
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice, you know how treacherous it can be when you are out on the roads. You know to slow down and to be prepared for the conditions.
The problem with summer driving is that the dangers aren’t so obvious. During the summer, driving extra defensively can help prevent an accident. You need to be on the lookout for speeding vehicles, distracted drivers, wildlife darting in front of you, motorcycles, construction zones, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Knowing what to be on the lookout for could prevent an accident and even, save your life. We will go over some driving hazards to be aware of on your summer drive.
If you live in a city that already has traffic jams, road construction can cause even more traffic delays. It’s important to be patient, follow traffic patterns and watch for detours. According to the CDC, about 770 people die annually from work zone accidents.
You need to be ready for lane changes at a moment’s notice. And at the same time, be on the lookout for drivers who aren’t familiar with the area who might quickly cut in front of you as they follow the signs.
Always check the traffic forecast in your city. If you are aware of any construction in your daily drive, try to find an alternate route. If you can’t, give yourself plenty of extra time so you aren’t rushed.
Bicycles and Motorcycles
When the weather gets warm and the sun comes out, you can be sure that there will be plenty of motorcycles and bicycles out as well.
Motorcycles can be more difficult to see, especially when you are pulling onto a roadway. Take extra care to look both ways at least two times before pulling out.
If you follow behind a motorcycle, be sure to follow at a greater distance than you would a car because a motorcycle can stop quicker.
Just like motorcycles, when you are sharing the road with a bicycle, they can be hard to spot.
Not all bicycle riders will understand the rules of the road and may not know how to use hand signals. 71 percent of deadly cyclist accidents involve adult riders and occur in urban areas.
It’s important to give them space. When passing a bicyclist, allow three feet of clearance.
Anything that takes a driver’s attention from the road is considered a distraction. Although it’s against the law in many states, many people are distracted by mobile devices.
Even if someone isn’t texting, their phone might start ringing and they may look to see who it is. Drivers could also be fiddling with their radio or music player.
Accidents have even occurred from a bee or other insect flying around in a vehicle. The driver becomes focused on swatting at the insect instead of driving.
Objects Darting in Front of You
Although animals and wildlife may be roaming all year long, they are out more when the weather is warm. It’s important to be on the lookout at all times and even more so at night.
Even if an animal hasn’t jumped directly in front of you, another driver could overreact and swerve if an animal jumps in front of them.
When you are in urban and suburban neighborhoods, it’s important to keep an eye out for children playing outside who may happen to dart out in front of you. Watch out for dogs and cats that might be wandering loose in the neighborhood.
Summer Driving Defensive Driving Tips
To stay safe, be sure that you play it safe, too. Keep these things in mind when you get behind the wheel:
- Put on your seat belt
- Don’t text while driving
- Avoid construction zones
- Slow down when it rains
- Check your tire pressure
- Keep your eyes on the road at all times
Summer driving calls for a more defensive driving approach. You may not be able to avoid an accident but knowing what to look out for could save a life.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident at any time of the year, be sure to call us today for a free consultation.
I represent individuals in Missouri and Illinois in all types of personal injury cases. In my short time here I have obtained a judgment for $2.5 million and settled a large class action lawsuit for a confidential amount.
I love the city of St. Louis and support it and give back whenever I can. Recently I was appointed by Mayor Francis Slay to serve on the Advisory Board for the Gateway Mall.
I am married to my lovely wife Lauren and we have two beautiful daughters, Mia and Bridget.