The summer season is almost here, and in New Jersey that means warm weather and trips to Ocean City and the Jersey Shore. However, the summer months bring an increase in traffic congestion in certain areas as well, and hurricane season will soon begin in earnest. When you buckle up this summer, here are 10 warm weather driving hazards to keep in mind.
10 Warm Weather Driving Hazards in New Jersey
1. More Distracted Drivers
From trying to find vacation destinations to texting with friends and family, driving distractions are common during the summer months.
2. More Drunk Drivers
Studies have shown that the summer months are the most-dangerous time of year for drunk driving accidents. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day are all among the deadliest days of the year when it comes to alcohol-related driving fatalities.
3. More Teen Drivers
With school out for summer, more teen drivers will be on the road. While some teens are undoubtedly safe drivers, the statistics show that teen drivers are to blame for a disproportionate number of vehicle collisions.
4. More Bicyclists and Pedestrians
When the weather gets nice, more people turn to walking and riding their bikes as a means of exercise and transportation. Unsafe bicyclists and pedestrians can be hazards to everyone on the road.
5. More Out-of-Town Drivers
Out-of-down drivers can be hazards on the roadway as well. From looking at GPS directions instead of looking at the road to simply being unfamiliar with local traffic patterns, drivers who are in unfamiliar territory can be at greater risk for causing dangerous collisions.
6. Heat-Related Vehicle Malfunctions
All vehicles need to remain at a certain temperature in order to operate appropriately. Heat-related vehicle malfunctions can range from overheating engines to tire blowouts.
7. Sun Glare
In the morning and as the sun goes down, sun glare can be particularly harsh during the summer. Drivers who lose visibility due to sun glare may run red lights, rear-end other vehicles, and cause other types of accidents.
8. Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
When it is hot outside and traffic is moving slowly (or barely moving at all), this can be a recipe for road rage. Road rage and other forms of aggressive driving are factors in more than half of all motor vehicle accidents.
9. Heavy Rains and Wind
In New Jersey, summer downpours can come on suddenly, and tropical storms and hurricanes can bring severe rains and wind. In bad weather, visibility decreases, braking distance increases, and accidents become significantly more likely.
10. Construction Projects
Finally, since it is too cold to do construction for much of the winter, construction projects are a near-constant presence on New Jersey’s roadways during the summer months. From sudden lane closures to debris in the roadway, construction projects play a role in a significant number of summer auto accidents as well.
How to Avoid Warm Weather Driving Hazards
So, how can you avoid these hazards? Unfortunately, in some cases, warm weather accidents may simply be unavoidable. If a drunk driver swerves into your lane or a distracted driver fails to see that you have stopped, there may simply be nothing you can do to avoid being hit. That said, some tips for reducing your risk of being injured in a warm weather auto accident include the following.
- Don’t be a distracted driver. There are more than enough of them on the road already, and paying attention to your surroundings will allow you to spot hazards and do everything possible to avoid them.
- Turn on your headlights. Even in sunny weather, it is a good idea to drive with your headlights on. Your headlights may catch the eye of a distracted driver or pedestrian, and they will make your vehicle more visible to oncoming drivers who are fighting sun glare.
- Observe the rules of the road. Obey the speed limit, yield the right of way, and avoid the temptation to try to “beat” yellow lights. Doing your part to stay safe will reduce your risk of being injured in a serious collision.
- Avoid driving while fatigued or alcohol-impaired. If you think you might be too tired or too impaired to drive, chances are, you are probably right. Play it safe, and sleep it off (or get someone else to drive you, if necessary).
- Check the forecast. If the forecast is calling for heavy rains or sudden thunderstorms, prepare yourself for delays and consider waiting out the storm if you are able to do so.
Contact the New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Petro Cohen
If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, you may consider seeking legal counsel to pursue a claim against the appropriate party and hold him or her liable for the damages caused. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents encompass various situations, such as reckless driving, negligence, rear-end collisions, side impact collisions, multiple-car wrecks, sideswipe crashes, rollovers, head-on collisions, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In recent years, more and more frequently accidents occur due to distracted driving, such as driving while texting, talking on the phone, or eating.
The New Jersey auto accident attorneys at Petro Cohen provide free consultation to accident victims who feel as though they may have a valid auto accident claim and will help you learn more about your legal rights.
We have offices in Northfield, Cherry Hill, Cape May, and Hamilton, and can even come to you if you are unable to meet at one of our four office locations.
Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have successfully handled thousands of vehicular accident cases throughout New Jersey and have a proven history of success. There is no cost to speak with us, and you will not be obligated to pay any of our legal expenses unless we are able to make a recovery on your behalf.
If you have been injured and would like to speak with an attorney, you can call 888-675-7607 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.