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Why Do Deadly Car Accidents Increase In The Summer Months?

Did you know that fatal car accidents increase during the summer months? According to federal data, there are approximately 20 percent more deadly traffic collisions in the summer than over the rest of the year. You can take action to protect your family by knowing the reasons why so many more catastrophic automobile wrecks happen in summer. In this blog post, our Vermont wrongful death lawyers explain why deadly motor vehicle accidents increase in the summer months. 

The Months With Most Fatal Accidents In 2019: June, July, August, and September

The National Safety Council (NSC) published comprehensive month-by-month statistics on car accident fatalities for 2019. On average, there were 3,008 fatalities reported in the United States on a monthly basis. The lowest month for total car accident fatalities and car accident fatality rate is February. Deadly crashes then spike during the summer seasons. Here is the data for the summer season during that year. 

  • June of 2019: 3,189 car accident deaths. 
  • July of 2019: 3,294 car accident deaths. 
  • August of 2019: 3,351 car accident deaths. 
  • September of 2019: 3,308 car accident deaths. 

Notably, the NSC finds that the seasonal impact on car accidents is slightly stronger in cold weather states. This is a big issue for our region, which experiences harsh winters. In other words, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the rest of New England see an even more disproportionate number of deadly car accidents during the summer than the rest of the country. 

Four Reasons Why Deadly Accidents Tend To Rise In The Summer Driving Season

The same pattern is observed year after year: More fatal car accidents are reported during the summer. As the weather warms up, the number of deadly collisions increases. This raises an important question: Why are there more deadly car accidents in the summer? Federal highway safety regulators emphasize there are a number of different factors. Here are four reasons why fatal crashes typically rise in the summer months: 

  • Higher Traffic Volume: First and foremost, there are simply more cars on the road in the summer than there are in other seasons. Traffic volume peaks in July and August each year. It falls to its lowest levels in January and February. More cars means more accidents. The NSC estimates that higher traffic volume accounts for around 50 percent of the disparity in the summer months. That being said, more deadly accidents happen in the summer even when adjusting for the fact that people drive more. Other factors matter as well. 
  • More Construction: Construction booms each summer—especially in Vermont and New Hampshire. In our cold weather states, the winter not only limits the amount of maintenance work that can be done, it actually tears up our roads. Construction changes traffic patterns and creates potential safety hazards. Drivers should take extreme care when travelling through construction zones. Always be prepared to make a quick stop. 
  • Tourists and Teens: Did you know that the makeup of drivers changes in the summer months? Teenagers drive a lot more during the same time than other times of the year. Further, northern New England sees an influx of tourists during the late summer months. In effect, this means you have more inexperienced drivers and unfamiliar drivers on the roads. These types of motorists are more likely to end up in a crash. 
  • An Increase in Drunk Driving: Finally, the NSC believes that certain dangerous driving behaviors increase during the summer. This is a serious problem with drunk driving and drugged driving. A safety analysis conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that Memorial Day Weekend, Independence Day Weekend (July 4th), and Labor Day Weekend all see a surge in the total number of intoxicated driving accidents. Drunk driving is dangerous driving. Beware of the risks imposed by drunk and drugged drivers, especially during the summer months, on holiday weekends, and during night-time hours. 

Call Our Vermont and New Hampshire Wrongful Death Attorneys For Help

At Sabbeth Law, our wrongful death lawyers represent families who lost loved ones in tragic fatal car accidents. We are passionate advocates for our clients and their families. If your family member was killed in a collision, our attorneys are prepared to help. Contact our law firm today for a free, completely confidential initial appointment with an attorney. We handle wrongful death claims in Vermont and New Hampshire, including in White River Junction, Woodstock, Springfield, Hartford, Lebanon, Claremont, Hanover, and Newport.