Don’t Sing the Summer Blues: How to Prepare for Motor Vehicle Travel and Arrive Safely at your Destination

As the weather warms in NY more people hit the road, whether it be for a scenic day trip or vacation road trip. However, more drivers on the road can lead to more speeding, more distracted driving, and higher chances of motor vehicle collisions.

Seasonal Patterns in Car Crashes

According to the National Safety Council, travel patterns have largely returned to normal in 2021 to now after the disruptions caused by the pandemic in 2020. Analyzing the data from 2022 & 2023 reveals some clear trends in both vehicle miles traveled and traffic fatalities:

Winter Months (January and February): These months see the lowest mileage traveled and the fewest traffic deaths. The colder weather, fewer daylight hours, and holiday slowdowns contribute to this decrease.

Spring (March and April): The death rate per 100 million vehicle miles is at its lowest during these months. This rate helps correct for variations in monthly mileage, providing a more accurate risk measure.

Summer (May through October): Traffic deaths remain elevated during these months. With school vacations, holiday travel, and generally good weather, more people are on the road, increasing both vehicle miles traveled and the number of fatalities.

Peak Crash Months (July, August, October): Historically, these months have the highest number of motor-vehicle fatalities. August sees the peak in miles traveled, while September records the highest death rate per 100 million vehicle miles.

This data highlights the significant increase in both vehicle miles and fatalities during the summer months compared to the winter.

Safety Tips for High-Risk Months

Understanding that the summer months pose a higher risk for car accidents, here are some safety tips to help you navigate the roads more safely:

Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: With more vehicles on the road, staying focused is crucial. Avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in other distractions while driving.

Maintain Your Vehicle: Ensure your car is in good condition, particularly during the summer months. Check tire pressure, brakes, and fluid levels regularly.

Plan Your Travels: If possible, plan your trips to avoid peak traffic times. Early mornings or late evenings can be less congested and safer.

Be Prepared for Weather Changes: Summer storms can be sudden and severe. Be ready for weather changes and drive cautiously in rain or poor visibility.

Stay Sober: Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With summer festivities and vacations, it can be tempting, but it significantly increases the risk of crashes.

Follow Speed Limits: Speeding is a major cause of accidents. Adhering to speed limits, especially in high-traffic areas, can reduce the risk of collisions.

Use Seat Belts: Always wear your seat belt and ensure all passengers do the same. Seat belts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.

By understanding the patterns of motor vehicle crashes and taking proactive steps, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe, particularly during the high-risk summer months. If you or someone you know has been seriously hurt in a motor vehicle collision, please contact us today so that we may provide the support and legal help needed to navigate these challenging times. Stay safe on the roads!