Summer in Oregon conjures images of a ton of fun. Kids start bouncing off the walls, excited to begin their summer vacation. Children and adults alike look forward to the swimming pool, beach, bicycling, camping, and outdoor adventures. And, of course, there are fun summer vacations to visit relatives, theme parks, and other regions of the country.
But how does all of this affect our public roadways? Do we face increased risks during the summer, or is driving the same as at other times of the year? In this blog, we will discuss whether summer is more dangerous for an accident involving an 18-wheeler and provide some tips for staying safe on the road.
Appreciating Summer Dangers
According to one agency specializing in insurance, July through October is the most dangerous time on the road, especially for trucking. August is the deadliest month, followed by July, which is the second deadliest. Unfortunately, some people have a false sense of security during the summer months because they perceive that the winter months are more dangerous due to weather concerns.
Factors Creating Summer Dangers on the Roads
Let’s take a look at some of the causes that make summer driving more dangerous:
- Increase in young drivers – the number of young drivers on the road increases in summer when high school and college kids are home. Some have jobs to which they commute, and some simply have more free time. Unfortunately, these drivers are our least experienced, and often most dangerous, drivers.
- More cars on the road – summer activities, vacations, and other driving reasons increase during summer months, at least partly because students are home from school. Additionally, many families prefer taking vacations in the summertime. Obviously, traffic can be more congested when there are more cars on the road, leading to more opportunities for accidents.
- Road construction – some road construction projects are saved for summer months. When this occurs, it can make driving conditions more dangerous.
Other factors can come into play, as well. For example, hot weather can cause tire blowouts. Additionally, the delays discussed above caused by busy roads and construction in the summer can make it harder on truck drivers. The time required for their journeys can get longer and create fatigue. Finally, summertime picnics, boating, and other get-togethers can result in the consumption of drugs and alcohol by people who later drive motor vehicles.
Staying Safe in Oregon While Driving During Summer Months
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) share some essential tips for driving safely around big trucks. We list a couple of them below. Others can be reviewed on the ODOT and FMCSA websites.
- Avoid blind spots – big trucks have large blind spots all around the vehicle (front, back, and sides). Avoid these spots by speeding up or slowing down if you need to so that you can remain visible to the truck driver.
- Give semi-trucks plenty of room – trucks need extra space – as much as 400 feet to stop. They also need extra space to make turns. Do not pass too closely or cut off big trucks.
Call with Questions
We hope everyone will exercise care and have a happy and safe summer. However, should you or a loved one be involved in an auto accident, we are here to help you navigate the legal landscape. We know you will have questions about your rights and will happily answer them in a free consultation.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield handle automobile and semi-truck accident cases throughout Oregon. The best way to make the roads safer for everyone is to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.