When summertime hits, we take to the road.
Whether for the Great American Road Trip or just getting errands done while the weather is warm, it always seems there are more people on the road in the summer.
There are. Americans drive more miles from May through August than other times of the year, and July through October are particularly deadly for drivers. Roads may feel safer because they’re not iced over, but other factors drive up the summertime road risk.
It’s not just that there are more people on the road — though that certainly helps. Summer thunderstorms pose their own barrage of risks.
Here’s what to watch out for — and how to get the help you need if a storm-related accident strikes in the heat of summer.
Keep an Eye Out for These Dangerous Driving Conditions During Summer Storms
- Lower visibility. Darker skies, swirling winds, and heavy rain: It’s harder to see in a rainstorm, particularly if you’re moving fast and staring through a windshield. (Not to mention the fact that lightning flashes can cause temporary blindness!) You won’t necessarily be able to view road hazards and respond quickly.
- Lower traction. When it’s hot and rainy out, roads are much more slippery. Your tires won’t grip the ground as effectively as in dry weather. If you’re going fast enough, you may even begin to hydroplane, or slide over the road. As a result, you may lose control of your vehicle.
- Obscured roads. During or after a storm, you may see puddles or pools of water forming on roads. These can be completely innocuous. They can also mask potholes filled with water, or even gaping craters in the road.
- Construction. While storms are prevalent in the summer, the good weather in between means more road construction. This narrows highways, changes routes, and places more obstacles and distractions on the road. When visibility is clear, this may not be an issue. When it’s raining, navigating through construction can be incredibly dangerous. Construction can also cause unexpectedly slick roads (think: runoff of oily materials). This affect your ability to control your vehicle.
- Other drivers. Even if you’re prepared to drive safely and skillfully through a summer storm, that doesn’t mean everyone on the road will be! In the summer, you’ll share the road with more drivers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Higher traffic and temperatures often put people in a poor mood for driving, reducing reaction time and leading to impatient, aggressive behaviors. When rain, wind, and hail are added to this mix, it could trigger the perfect storm (of vehicle crashes and painful personal injuries).
Consider These Strategies to Prepare for Potentially-Dangerous Summer Driving
- Know that the first few minutes of a storm are the most dangerous. This is because rain has hit the road, but has not washed accumulated oils off of it. This can increase your chances of hydroplaning.
- If you start hydroplaning, don’t brake and turn away from the direction you’re skidding in. It’s counterintuitive, but turning into the spin is a safer option. This strategy should help you regain control of your car faster.
- Prepare your car for summer storms before summer storms hit! Replace wiper blades, ensure your car has enough windshield wiper fluid, check your brakes, and ensure your tires are rotated and ready.
- Plan ahead for worst-case scenarios. What should you do if someone else hits you, or if you hit something in low visibility? Getting yourself to a safe stopping point, pursuing medical care for everyone involved, and calling authorities to the scene are all good initial actions. Having the name of a local personal injury attorney in mind before your accident can also help. Trust us: The last thing you want to do after a car accident is additional research.
Need Help Managing the Aftermath of a Summer Vehicle Accident? Chicagoland’s Cullotta Law Can Help
While dealing with a personal injury and an auto accident, you also don’t need to be handling claims, paperwork, and potential defense strategies. It’s too much — and there’s too much on the line.
You need to know that you can count on the compensation you deserve to help you and your loved ones heal.
The experienced attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law Firm can help you achieve that certainty. Our team can help you file insurance claims, examine the evidence, and more. Call us at 630-898-7800, or contact us online.