In the summer, you may spend more time than usual driving to family reunions, vacations or camping trips – and, along with that extra driving comes extra risks. Summer is the deadliest season for driving, with the rate of traffic fatalities doubling during the summer months. Here are four more hazards of summer driving and how to stay safe.
Teenagers have less experience than other drivers, making them more prone to car accidents. Drivers aged 16 to 19 are about three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20. Most teenage drivers are out of school during the summer months and, as a result, spend more time on the road and get in more car accidents. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been dubbed the “100 deadliest days” by AAA due to the increase in teen driver fatalities. Though you cannot keep inexperienced drivers off the road, you can stay safe by paying attention and practicing defensive driving, especially when near teen drivers.
As you travel farther away from civilization to a vacation or camping trip, you increase your risk of hitting a wild animal. South Carolina is considered a high risk state for deer-vehicle collisions, with 1 in 93 drivers experiencing a collision in 2015 and 2016. Crashes involving large animals such as deer and bears can cause significant vehicle damage and personal injury. Decrease your risk of hitting a wild animal by using your high beams at night, except when there is oncoming traffic, and using extra caution between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. – and 5 p.m. and midnight.
Winter tends to be rough on roads, often causing potholes due to snow and frozen rain expanding under the asphalt. In summer, heat and higher traffic can worsen these potholes or make them more numerous. With one-third of fatal traffic accidents involving poor road conditions, potholes can be dangerous for drivers. They can cause tire and wheel damage, and at high speeds can nearly destroy your car’s front end. When you see a pothole in the road, drive around it if you can do so safely. If not, slow down before driving over it, but do not hit the brakes while your wheel is inside the pothole, as it could damage your brakes.
Allergies can be a hassle during the spring and summer, but they can also be a threat to your driving. A recent study found that drivers who suffered from allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny noses and headaches – and took no allergy medication – drove comparably to those with a blood alcohol content of .03 percent. To stay alert during allergy season, take a non-drowsy allergy medication to help with your symptoms before getting behind the wheel.
Are You a Car Accident Victim in South Carolina?
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