Which month accounts for the greatest number of car accidents?
August accounts for the greatest number of car accidents. More traffic accidents occur in the month of August than any other month of the year. August 2 is in fact the deadliest day of the year for car crashes on U.S. roads, according to a report by Nationwide Insurance. Data recorded from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety from 2012 to 2016, revealed that more than 500 people died in car crashes on Aug. 2 on U.S. roadways.
What are the main reasons for the increase in auto accidents during the summer months?
- Teen drivers being out of school;
- Increased road construction;
- Tourists and more drivers on vacation;
- Vehicle malfunctions due to the heat;
- More pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles on the road;
- Holiday weekends (i.e. – Memorial Day and Fourth of July).
What can I do to minimize my chances of getting in a car accident this summer?
- Have your vehicle inspected. Check your vehicle’s tire pressure, including the spare. Do this when your tires are cold, meaning you have not driven the car for at least three hours.
- Inspect your vehicle’s wiper blades and make sure these are working properly. This is crucial in the summertime, as torrential downpours of rain can be a daily occurrence in Central Florida.
- Get plenty of rest before setting out on your summer travels. Driver fatigue can cause accidents. Make sure and take plenty of breaks to prevent fatigue and have the best directions possible to your destination.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Use the three second rule. You should be at least three seconds behind the car in front of you. This will allow you to react, if an accident occurs or the traffic pattern suddenly changes.
- Never drink and drive. This is an obvious one, but all too often, this rule is ignored. Assign a designated driver or be prepared to call a taxi or Uber to get you to your destination safely.
What steps can I take to make sure my vehicle is ready for a summer road trip?
- Make sure your vehicle has been taken in for its regular maintenance. This includes tune-ups, oil changes, fluid levels, battery checks and tire rotations.
- Check your vehicle’s tire pressure, including the spare. Do this when your tires are cold, meaning you have not driven the car for at least three hours.
- Look under the hood and inspect all belts and hoses. Make sure there are no cuts or cracks in the rubber.
- Inspect your vehicle’s wiper blades and make sure these are working properly.
- Make sure your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights are properly working. If you have a boat, camper, RV or other item attached to your vehicle make sure the trailer lights, brake lights and turn signals work as well.
- Have an emergency roadside kit available in your car. Even well-maintained vehicles can break down. Having an emergency roadside kit will help prepare you for the unexpected.
What are some steps I can take to prevent tire failure in the summer months?
Hot weather and under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination. With the month of June being National Tire Safety Month, this serves as an excellent reminder for drivers to check the condition of their tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that tire failure causes approximately 11,000 crashes a year. The most common causes include tread separations, blowouts, bald tires and under-inflated tires. To prevent tire failure this summer, NHTSA has the following safety recommendations:
- Follow the recommended tire pressure in pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) for your vehicle.
- Purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your car and check your tires at least once a month.
- Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for tire replacement.
- Monitor the tread on all tires on your vehicle and note your vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system on the dashboard. Take immediate action if you receive a warning.
- Look for tread wear indicators. These are raised sections spaced throughout the bottom of the tread grooves. When these are apparent, it is time to replace your tires.
- Do the penny test. Place a penny in the tread of your tires with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tire tread is worn and needs to be replaced.