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Sunshine and gridlock: Does summer traffic increase accident rates?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Personal Injury

Summer invokes images of pristine beaches, vibrant theme parks and endless sunshine. But for residents and visitors alike, this idyllic season also comes with a not-so-sunny side: a spike in car accident rates.

While heavy traffic is often blamed for this traditional shift in safety, is there a direct link between increased summer congestion and road risks in the Evergreen State? There’s strong evidence to suggest that more traffic during the summer months can contribute to a rise in car accidents in Washington.

An influx of inexperienced drivers

Since school is out for summer, many teenagers get behind the wheel despite their little experience as drivers. This influx of amateur drivers hitting the road for the first time in a long time can increase the risk of accidents. Many people do not know that teenage drivers are more prone to car accidents than their older counterparts.

It doesn’t help that teenagers are also susceptible to peer pressure, which can push them into attempting risky behaviors behind the wheel. For instance, passengers in a vehicle with a teen driver may dare them to race with other vehicles on the road.

Teen drivers are also more likely to be preoccupied by in-car conversations or notifications on their smartphones. Since driving is such a hands-on task, even taking one’s eye off the road for a hot second can end up in a collision.

Vacation vibes

When the sun comes out, many families embark on vacations and road trips to take a break from life’s monotony. For some, vacation vibes can mean throwing caution to the wind and indulging in drugs and alcoholic drinks.

Furthermore, tourists visiting the state may underestimate travel times and may not be prepared for specific road layouts or aggressive driving behaviors. Additionally, they could get caught up in sightseeing, further increasing accident risks.

Increased road activity

Beyond car traffic, the summer months see a rise in all sorts of road users on the roadways. This mixed flow of vehicles and vulnerable road users requires heightened awareness from drivers. Unfortunately, congested summer traffic can make it harder to spot and react safely to these vulnerable groups.

Being involved in a summer car accident can make this sunny season gloomy. Injury victims of reckless driving should consider holding irresponsible at-fault parties accountable. Employing the services of a trusted legal team can boost their odds of receiving fair compensation.