The Pacific Northwest enjoys warm and sunny summer weather, inviting Oregon and Washington residents to spend time outdoors. However, as you make plans to hit the road this summer, it’s important to consider that the number of auto accidents increases during these sunny months. While most of us assume that winter months with challenges like ice and snow are more likely to cause car accidents, the data indicates that summer sees the most significant increase in such accidents. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why more accidents tend to occur during these warmer months.
1. More Inexperienced Drivers on the Road
When school is out of session, more teen drivers take to the road in search of adventure. Unfortunately, teens pose the highest risk of motor vehicle crashes than any other age group. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 285,000 teens between the ages of 13 and 19 suffered severe auto accident injuries in 2018 alone. Additionally, the Portland and Vancouver areas are popular tourist destinations, meaning that the roads become clogged with drivers unfamiliar with the area’s roadways. Tourists are more likely to be distracted by navigation systems, make sudden turns, or pose other substantial risks to others on the road.
2. Increased Alcohol Consumption
Summer nights provide ample opportunities for backyard barbeques, social gatherings, and other celebrations that often involve alcohol. While many people drink responsibly, some get behind the wheel when they are too impaired to drive safely. Holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day all see an uptick in DUI arrests and crashes involving impaired drivers. This increase in risky behavior puts yourself and others in greater danger of suffering an auto accident injury.
3. Traffic and Construction Pose Safety Risks
With more people traveling or heading out on vacation, roadways can see an increase in traffic congestion. Additionally, as construction projects reach a peak during the dry summer months, detours and diversions can contribute to congestion and heavy traffic conditions. As a result, drivers may become frustrated or even angry, prompting them to make reckless decisions on the road. So-called “road rage” may lead to careless and even dangerous behaviors like excessive speeding or sudden lane changes.
If you’ve suffered an auto accident injury in the Portland or Vancouver area, call Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak to a trusted and compassionate attorney.