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Why Do Motor Vehicle Fatalities Increase in Warmer Months?

Wilson & McQueen May 16, 2022

Though you may associate winter driving with treacherous conditions like ice and snow, the warmer months are actually the most dangerous for motorists. Data from the National Safety Council shows that motor vehicle fatalities were highest in the summer months of 2020.

Understanding why the risks increase as the weather heats up can help you stay safe and aware while on the road.

Increased Traffic

When the temperatures outside get warmer, people are more likely to venture out of their homes in their free time. The rise in the number of cars and trucks on the road means you have a greater chance of experiencing a collision.

Around major holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, you are likely to encounter out-of-town motorists who are unfamiliar with the area and drunk drivers who are more prone to major traffic mistakes. Additionally, warm weather typically leads to an increase in motorcyclists and bicyclists that you must share the road with.

Heat-Related Car Trouble

Heat can have a dramatic impact on a vehicle, leading to serious issues, such as loose or broken belts, blown tires, malfunctioning engines and overheating radiators. One of the most serious car troubles you can experience is a tire blowout. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 612 people died in 2019 from tire-related accidents.

You can protect yourself and your passengers by practicing safe driving habits, following all traffic laws and watching out for motorcycles and bicycles. Avoid driving during peak congestion and plan your trips carefully around major holidays.