Did you know studies have found the number of automobile collisions actually increases in the summer? That fact might seem odd to you given the fact that during the summer the roadways are usually not covered in ice and snow. With that said, there are other factors that come into play that increase the likelihood of a crash. This brings up an obvious, but essential realization: automobile collisions can occur at anytime, anywhere and under any number of circumstances.
So, that leads us to the question: Why are there more automobile collisions in the summer? One main reason is that teenage drivers are taking the road. During the summer months, school is out and teenagers have more time to be on the roadway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “[i]n 2019, almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13-19 were killed and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means that every day, about seven teens died due to motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more were injured.” As one can suspect, teenage drivers are still working to master their driving skills and are not as likely as a more experienced driver to acknowledge when they are driving in an unsafe situation. Additionally, according to the same Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page, “[t]eens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next).” These driving actions can certainly contribute to the increase of collisions.
Next, during the summer, families are more likely to go on vacations; therefore, making travel more congested. In fact, a study on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website states in 2019 there were 9,025 fatal motor vehicle collisions during the months of June through August. Further, according to a 2005 study titled Trend and Pattern Analysis of Highway Crash Fatality By Month and Day, which was published by NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “[m]onthly fatalities and VMTs [Vehicle Miles Traveled] increase steadily from the lowest points in January and February, peak in July and August, then gradually decrease in the later months of the year.” As one can tell, individuals and families are more likely to travel often in the summer, which, in turn, can certainly increase the likelihood of automobile collisions.
Finally, another reason there are more automobile collisions in the summer is because in the summer there can be an increase in alcohol consumption. As the weather warms up and the summer holidays approach, individuals of age are likely to celebrate with alcohol. This could also lead to an increase in automobile crashes.
As stated, car collisions can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons. Just because there is no ice or snow on the road does not mean you can relax behind the wheel. Be attentive and be safe.