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Summer dramatically increases danger on Illinois’ highways

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2018 | Car Accidents

Everyone looks forward to the summer. Perhaps it’s just the nostalgia of those childhood days, when summer meant three months of complete freedom to run, play, read and just enjoy life. Maybe it’s the warmer weather and longer days. Perhaps its the increase in vacations and spending time with the family, when life is a bit more relaxed.

As great as summer can be, experts do warn that it brings with it some of the most dangerous days in America. Car accidents, injuries and fatalities tend to go up during the summer months.

Soaring fatality rates

Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the total amount of fatalities on the highway in the summer is almost twice as high as the total for the entire rest of the year. In just four months, nearly half of all deadly accidents take place.

This happens despite optimal driving conditions. The summer has longer daylight hours, countering some of the risk of night driving. It is free from the snow and ice that can make Illinois so dangerous in the heart of winter. It provides drivers with clear, open roads.

So, if the conditions are perfect, how does this short stretch of summer account for such a stunning amount of deadly accidents?

Vacation travel

First of all, summer gives families a chance to go on vacation. The children get three months off from school, so many parents also take a week or two to get away. Plus, the summer has some important holidays, like the Fourth of July, that tend to bring families together.

All of this vacation and holiday travel simply means more people take to the roads every day. More traffic leads to more accidents and that leads to more fatalities.

Teenage drivers

Another potential issue is that teenagers have the summer off from school. It is well known that teens are a high-risk age group among drivers. School keeps this in check somewhat by keeping them in the classroom. Summer puts them back on the road, and that also leads to accidents.

Drinking and driving

Experts note that the summer comes with a “significantly higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers,” especially around the holidays. A lot of drinking and driving happens between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and DUI accident cases send the fatality rate skyrocketing. Even with the longer days, a lot of DUI accidents happen late at night or very early the next morning, as people stay out all night. Driving after dark is always more dangerous, but especially when other drivers are intoxicated.

Your rights to compensation

A serious car accident can ruin your summer and change your life. You must know what rights you have to compensation.