Summer is the busiest time of year on Connecticut’s roads, and it also tends to be the most dangerous. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have found that numbers of auto accidents, injuries and fatalities peak in July and August. Knowing the dangers to watch for on the roads this summer can help keep you and your family safe.
Here are some of the driving hazards that have been found to contribute most often to summertime auto accidents:
Tire blowouts — The summer sun makes road surfaces extremely hot, raising the temperature of tires and expanding the air inside them. Be sure to drive with proper tire pressure to reduce risk of blowouts. Tires also take a beating in spring and early summer due to potholes not yet repaired.
Overheating — Check your cooling system level and hose connections before road trips. Sitting in traffic on a stifling summer day can cause your engine temperature to rise. Old hoses can crack and come loose, leaving your engine with an inadequate amount of coolant. If you see your temperature gauge getting up into the hot zone, pull over and let the engine cool down.
Construction zones — Road construction and repairs often require traffic to be constricted or rerouted. Drivers need to pay extra attention to signs and markers indicating detours and reduced speed limits. Also, road surfaces may be torn up for repaving and metal plates may cover areas under repair.
Heavy rain — Summer thunderstorms can be intense and can even bring hail and fierce winds that make driving especially dangerous. Before you get on the road, make sure your headlights and windshield wipers work. Get off the road if a bad storm hits.
Bicycles and motorcycles — More people take to the roads on bikes and motorcycles in the summertime, so always keep an eye out for them. These riders are especially vulnerable to serious and sometimes fatal injury if they are struck by larger vehicles.
Pedestrians — Walking, jogging and running are at peak levels during summer months. Pedestrians are often distracted by cell phones or won’t hear you coming because they have headphones on. Always be prepared to slow down or stop near crosswalks, even if you have the right of way.
Vacation traffic — Summer is the prime vacation season, so more cars are on the road. Unfortunately, people often drink and drive, talk on the phone while driving or take the wheel when they’re tired after a full day of fun, all of which lead to accidents. Make sure you are well-rested whenever you drive and be extra alert for distracted or erratic drivers.
If you are injured in a Connecticut auto accident, the lawyers of Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. in Hamden and East Haven are here to help. Call us at 203-745-0942 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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