Warmer temperatures during the summer months create many risk factors that Alabama motorists need to be aware of in order to reduce the number of car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere.
One thing most motorists probably don’t think to do is check their tires for wear and proper inflation. But a consumer advisory from the U.S. Department of Transportation is alerting motorists to do just that. From 2005 to 2009, there were roughly 116,000 people injured and almost 3,400 more killed in tire-related crashes in the U.S.
“While its true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. “Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster.”
Before you head out on your next road trip, make sure you check your tire treads and test your air pressure for proper inflation. Older tires can’t handle the stress that heat creates, which can lead to a highway blow out and loss of vehicle control.
Safercar.gov offers an array of information on tire safety. Some recommendations include purchasing an accurate tire pressure gauge to keep with you in the vehicle, not overloading your vehicle on long road trips and checking your owner’s manual for proper inflation amounts for your vehicle.
For more information about tire safety, visit Rubber Manufacturers Association online at betiresmart.org.
An article in Reader’s Digest points out several other summer driving hazards that motorists should be aware of. In order to avoid costly property damage or severe injury sustained in an accident, keep the following summer dangers in mind while you hit the roadway:
-Small critters like groundhogs, opossum, or skunks in addition to large wild animals like deer, mountain lions or black bears can run onto the roadway without warning. Though larger animals are easier to detect, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous or easy to avoid when traveling at normal speeds. Motorists should look for animal crossing signs and know the area in which they are driving to avoid hitting wild animals.
-Planning travel around inclement weather isn’t always possible so be alert for dangers of hydroplaning or poor vision, which can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle. Motorists are advised to keep all windows and mirrors clean, check to make sure lights and turn signals are working efficiently and always use your headlights when severe weather strikes.
-Symptoms of fatigue or drowsiness are often associated with warm weather. Ten percent of drivers admit to having dozed off behind the wheel within the past year. Before long road trips, make sure your air conditioning is working in your vehicle and you are well rested before you leave. It is also recommended to share the driving with another passenger or take lots of rest breaks throughout the trip.
-Bicyclists and motorcycle riders hit the roads in force in summer; motorists are advised to be watchful for two-wheeled vehicles because they are often difficult to see.
-Speeding is never a good idea no matter what time of year, yet many motorists think when the weather is pleasant they can make up for lost time by driving fast. Speeding is a leading contributor in motor vehicle accidents and is a factor in roughly 30 percent of fatal crashes.
Motorists, who control their speed, and those who stay alert for animals, poor weather conditions, bicyclist or motorcycles, will improve their odds of arriving at their destination safely.
If you have been injured in a Montgomery car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Allred & Allred P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 334.396.9200 today.
How to Avoid 5 Costly summer Driving Hazards, Reader’s Digest Summer Increases Risk of Injury in Montgomery and Elsewhere, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011