While the winter season is often associated with risky driving conditions, summer has its own risks. From road construction to out-of-town recreational drivers pulling boats and campers, summertime hazards require drivers to be extra alert and share the road. Make sure you are aware of these summer driving situations and know how to share the road safely.
1 – Summer Construction Means More Traffic
Traffic delays and detours caused by road construction can make traffic snarls worse. It is important for drivers to be patient and alert, and to share the road.
To ensure the highest safety in work zones, you should:
- Either avoid known work zones or anticipate the delay and allow extra time.
- Find an alternate route or adjust their work schedule to avoid hazards or delays.
- Follow signs and, if lanes are being closed, merge early before entering the work zone.
- Expect the unexpected: slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions.
2 – Motorcycles on the Move
As the number of motorcycles on the road increases, so does the opportunity for motorcycle crashes. There are more motorcycles on the road now than a decade ago. Make sure everyone in you understand the unique hazards that motorcycles present, including the risk of accidents caused by a vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle.
Consider the following when sharing the road with motorcycles:
- Be extra aware: Motorcycles can be difficult to see and can disappear in your blind spot. Also, it can be easy to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed.
- Look twice to make sure a motorcycle is a safe distance from your vehicle.
- Follow motorcycles at greater distances, as motorcycles can stop more quickly than automobiles.
- Because of the extra dangers motorcycle riding can present, consider a policy that prohibits employees from using motorcycles for business travel.
3 – Bicyclists Can Be Hard to Predict
Like motorcycles, bicycles can be difficult to see, and they can be even more vulnerable in a crash. The majority of cyclists who are injured or killed are adults, with 70 percent of those fatalities occurring in urban environments.5 Bicycle rider intentions can be hard to predict if they do not follow traffic rules or use hand signals.
To keep bicyclists safe:
- Understand the local rules. Laws in most states give bicycle riders the same rights as vehicle operators.
- Give bicycles space—respect their rights to use the road.
- Look for bicycle riders, especially when opening your door and making right turns at intersections. Look over your shoulder to ensure the way is clear.
- Treat bicycles the same as slow-moving vehicles. Give cyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing. When following a cyclist, give them plenty of space should they change direction or stop.
4 – Distracted Pedestrians
Extra daylight and warmer temperatures bring people outside and onto roadways. Distracted walking by people focused on their mobile devices only increases the dangers of the most vulnerable people on the road: pedestrians.
To ensure the safety of pedestrians, you should:
- Watch out for pedestrians at night, especially in urban areas.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk—pedestrians could be crossing the road.
- Look for pedestrians more than once before turning.
- Watch for pedestrians who might be distracted while walking, as distracted walking has been a factor in some incidents.
There are other types of summertime driving risks to consider as well, such as recreational drivers who are unfamiliar with local roads and young drivers who may lack experience behind the wheel. In addition, summer vacationers may be driving overloaded vehicles with obstructed windows, and drivers may be sleep-deprived from longer days and activities that stretch into the night.
If you were injured in a summer car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you and get car accident help today and money for your injuries. There is no fee until we win.
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