Will Smith, a k a Fresh Prince, sang a highly popular song about summertime, cleverly titled, “Summertime.” It has a fun, easy, friendly rhythm and vibe, and it somewhat epitomizes what many of us think about the summer.
This is time to be at the beach, at the pool, on a boat, riding bicycles, camping, fishing – relaxing with school out for th kids and a chance to blow off some steam from a hard winter and spring of work.
This was the time of napping in hammocks and drinking lemonade by the gallon.
Unfortunately, often when there is a special time of year on a positive side, there is an almost equal negative side that is at risk. In the summertime, the negative is the data that says that July and August are the deadliest months of the year in terms of car crashes, and are the busiest months for auto accidents in general. There is a disproportionate numberof crashes in July and August compared to every other month of the year. Why is this?
In a lot of ways, it’s basic math. It’s all about numbers. If you were to assign an “average” accident rate across the country and increased number of cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and others on the roadways during the summer months, it would be fundamental to presume that the accident numbers will go up. More and more people are on the roads during th summer than other times of the year, because this is the time that more people take their vacation time, and this is the time of year that students are generally out of school, which especially means more and more high-risk teen drivers on the roads.
Combine all that with increased parties, more people attending parties and bars an having too much to drink, plus the chances that some law-enforcement entities may be shorthanded with officers also taking vacation time so there are fewer patrols to prevent and deter dangerous driving behavios – it can all be a recipe for potential disaster.
Car accidents can set a pall over summer vacations, weddings, reunions and other activities. Summer months can be dangerous times on the roads, and it is a time that we all should be extra vigilant and observant, which in some ways goes counter to the thought that we generally relax during the summer and we may not focus as much as when we are in school or at work. This by itself can make summer a dangerous time because to drive during this time of year will lead us to be counterintuitive.
If you are on vacation, or you live in a vacation destination, it is important to relax when you are not behind the wheel. A higher concentration of drivers, pedestrians, and others on the roadways (which themselves didn’t expand to accommodate the traffic) makes for tight quarters, and car accidents may easily be more predictable. With increased vigilance, however, accidents could be more preventable.
Always be observant during the summer, and frankly, you could be more efficient with vehicles by not driving some days if you can avoid it. The less you are on the road, the less risk you assume and less of a target you will become. If you can carpool or combine errands or other trips together and have some days when you don’t drive or ride in a vehicle can be a way to enjoy your summer, sing “Summertime” and mean it.