When summer hits, potential hazards require drivers to be extra alert and share the road. From road construction to out-of-town recreational drivers pulling boats and RVs, the warmer months bring additional components drivers should be wary of when out on the roads.
In addition to cars packed full of gear and towed recreational vehicles, summer brings weather changes (think afternoon thunderstorms that appear in the blink of an eye) and increases in the amount of cars on the road that make driving more dangerous.
What are three common summertime driving risks, and how can you protect against these hazards? Let’s take a look.
Construction happens more often during the spring and summer months. More roadblocks, delays, and detours come with increased construction, leading to more traffic. While sometimes frustrating, drivers must stay patient and remain alert, especially with so many extra drivers on the road. A couple of additional helpful tips:
- Avoid known work zones or give yourself extra time to sit through the delay if you can’t.
- Find an alternate route (travel apps like Waze are helpful for this) or adjust your schedule to prevent hazards or delays.
- Follow road signs and, if lane closures are ahead, merge early before entering the work zone.
- Expect the unexpected: slow down, increase your following distance and avoid distractions.
Increased Pedestrian Traffic
The city of Woodstock, where we’re located, is very pedestrian-friendly. Walkability has become a highly sought-after checkmark on people’s lists when looking for a community to call home. Longer days and warmer temps bring people outside, and it’s easy to get distracted, particularly in large groups. Add in distractions from mobile devices and potentially heightens an accident’s dangers. Other pedestrian-friendly safety tips include:
- Watch out for pedestrians at night, especially in densely populated areas.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and never attempt to pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk—pedestrians could be crossing the road.
- Look twice for pedestrians before turning.
- Watch for pedestrians who might be distracted while walking, as distracted walking can lead to accidents.
Motorcycles and Bicycles
Once the weather warms up, you may see motorcyclists and bicyclists out on the road in larger numbers.
It’s a common misconception that motorcycle accidents are often the fault of the motorcyclist when in reality, many serious motorcycle crashes happen due to other drivers’ careless actions. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include texting and driving or distracted driving, speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, and illegal passing. Similar to motorcycles, bicycle riders’ intentions can be hard to predict if they don’t follow traffic rules or use hand signals.
Follow these additional safety tips for motorcycles and bicycles out on the road:
- Be extra aware: Motorcycles can be difficult to see and disappear in your blind spot. It can be equally challenging to judge a motorcycle’s speed.
- Give motorcycles plenty of distance, as motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
- Look twice to make sure a motorcycle is a safe distance from your vehicle before changing lanes.
- Give bicycles space and respect their rights to use the road.
- Treat bicycles the same as slow-moving vehicles. Give cyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing. When following a cyclist, give them plenty of space should they change direction or stop.
While these are just a few of the summertime driving risks drivers should be aware of, it’s important for new and seasoned drivers alike to be aware of potential hazards when taking to the roads during the warmer months, as even the safest drivers may find themselves in a situation that can’t be avoided. When that happens, reach out to our office. Debranski & Associates has spent years fighting for our clients in the North Metro Atlanta area, and we can help get you the settlement you deserve.