May 20, 2024
Auto Accident

Summer is approaching, and with it, warmer weather and more opportunities for trips across Alabama. More people will be on the road enjoying a vacation or a nice summer day out.

However, higher traffic also means a higher risk of accidents, making safety and awareness critical this time of year. Summer holidays are an especially risky time—in 2022, Alabama saw 13 fatalities around Memorial Day and 14 deaths around July 4th

Whether you own a car or ride a motorcycle, follow our recommendations for a safe summer on the road.

Summer Road Risks

Summer unofficially kicks off in Alabama on Memorial Day as schools close and celebrations commence. This transition into the warmer months brings about changes on Alabama’s roads, introducing these specific hazards:

  • More Traffic: More vehicles are out and about in the summertime. Whether it’s families packing into campers for a trip to state parks, students coming home from college, or motorcyclists enjoying a scenic ride, there’s simply more activity on the road.

This increased traffic can lead to a higher risk of crashes, especially for drivers distracted by other passengers or infotainment systems in the car.

  • High Summer Temperatures: June, July, and August are often the hottest months across the state of Alabama, with average high temperatures often exceeding 80°F. Last summer, the National Weather Service recorded over 17 days with temperatures of 95°F or higher in Mobile, AL.

    High heat causes fatigue, discomfort, and dehydration, reducing a driver’s ability to concentrate or anticipate dangers. This can also increase the chances of an accident.
  • Higher Number of Out-of-State Drivers: Summer is popular for road trips and long-distance vacations. Expect more drivers on long-distance journeys, like tourists on their way to Florida for vacation.

    Many of these drivers will be unfamiliar with local routes and norms. These factors can increase the likelihood of an accident due to a distracted or inattentive driver.
  • Construction Zones: Summer typically coincides with construction work, especially in urban areas and on major roads and highways. Watch out for lane reductions and detours, and slow down on uneven road surfaces and around workers.
  • Inclement Weather: Summer storms in Alabama can reduce visibility and quickly turn dry roads into wet surfaces. If you find yourself in bad weather, slow down, increase your safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, and turn your headlights on until the weather improves.
  • Wildlife Crossings: Look for wildlife crossing signs and watch for wild animals, especially around dawn and dusk, when they are the most active. If a deer or another animal crosses your car’s path, don’t swerve; keep the vehicle straight and brake hard instead. This will help you keep control of your car and avoid hitting oncoming traffic.

Paying attention to road conditions and preparing for these hazards can help you avoid a traffic accident.

Tips for Safe Summer Driving

Whether you’re staying in Alabama for the summer or planning a long-distance trip of your own, staying safe should be your priority on the road. Follow these tips to ensure an enjoyable summer:

  • Perform Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your car, motorcycle, truck, or vehicle is in proper working order before driving, especially if you’re planning a long road trip. Check your tire condition and pressure, top off engine coolant levels, watch for fluid leaks, and test your battery before starting your journey.
  • Stay Hydrated and Well-Rested: To avoid fatigue in high heat, keep water nearby and ensure you’re well-rested. Avoid driving if you feel tired and stay hydrated during the trip. Take a 15-minute break every 2 hours to rest, combat fatigue, and reduce the risk of drowsy driving.
  • Be Alert and Attentive: Distracted driving caused over 3,300 deaths nationwide in 2022. Minimize distractions and focus on road conditions when you are behind the wheel, especially if you plan to drive somewhere unfamiliar or on congested roads.
  • Follow the Law: Whether you plan to drive out of state or stay within Alabama, remember to follow all local traffic laws and speed limits. Respecting the law and anticipating the actions of other drivers, such as by keeping a safe following distance, helps reduce the risk of a collision.

Stay Safe This Summer With The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers

Whether you’re heading out for a short trip or a longer haul, staying safe on the road is crucial for every driver. If another driver has injured you, reach out to our Alabama car accident lawyers at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers.

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