When a blizzard or an ice storm rolls into Massachusetts during the winter, it is easy to imagine that the coldest months of the year are also the most dangerous months to drive. That ice and snow on the road often send vehicles spinning out of control, it makes it far harder to stop when something unexpected happens and storms even make it harder to simply see the lines on the road.
However, as dangerous as winter can be, the statistics paint a different picture. The most deadly car accidentstend to happen in October, August, June, July and September. It is clear that the summer and early fall carry the greatest risk, even if the roads remain clear. Why is this?
Vacations put summer tourists on roads they have never traveled before. They get confused, they focus more on the GPS than the road and they make mistakes. Plus, tourists simply increase the overall road congestion. More traffic leads to more accidents, and that leads to more injuries and fatalities. People travel far more in the summer, and they put everyone — from other tourists to locals — at risk.
Teenage drivers make mistakes and lack experience. They tend to take unneeded risks. The only way to really overcome it is for them to get older and gain experience, but that means a lot of those young drivers do crash every year. During the school year, they’re busy and spend more time inside. During the carefree days of summer, far more teens end up on the roads, and that leads to a predictable increase in accidents.
Motorcycles and bikes
Cold winter weather means cyclists stay home and motorcycles sit in the garage. The warmth of spring and summer puts them all back on the roads. This leads to an increase in traffic congestion. It can also lead to accidents when drivers forget to check their blind spots and neglect to be careful around these smaller vehicles. Spring and early summer often carry an increased risk because people “forget” how to drive around motorcycles and bicycles.
Construction grinds to a halt in the winter, but crews work around the clock when it warms up. This leads to traffic delays. Stopped traffic can cause rear-end accidents. Delays lead to aggressive driving and road rage. Traffic lane shifts and smaller lanes in construction zones can also lead to accidents. One report found that 773 people die every single year, on average, from accidents in road construction zones.
As you can see, the summer months can lead to massively increased risks as injuries and fatalities become more common. Those involved in accidents must know all of the legal rights that they have.
Attorney Peter M. Goldberg is the founder of and managing partner at Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, and has been in private practice since 1986. He takes pride in the fact he deals directly with his clients on a daily basis working to get their cases resolved to the fullest extent of their rights. Peter practices personal injury law and workers compensation law in Massachusetts.