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Southwest Florida Injury Lawyers Warn of South Florida Summertime Driving Dangers

Cape Coral injury lawyers summer driving risks

Cape Coral injury lawyers talk summer driving risks

People tend to think of winter as the most dangerous time for drivers. To be sure, there are unique, cold-weather road hazards like ice, snow, and an increased likelihood of engine trouble. That’s not so much of an issue here in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte Counties Florida. But summertime driving dangers actually lead to more crashes – and Cape Coral injury lawyers know South Florida isn’t immune to those like we are those wintry road risks.

A number of highway hazards are heightened from late May to early September.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), August is one of the deadliest months for Florida drivers. Cape Coral injury lawyers know it’s not a coincidence this is also around the same time there’s an uptick in heavy rains/flooding, increased traffic, higher temperatures (causing heat-impacted vehicle damage), holiday parties/vacations, and no school.

The “Summer Scaries” on SWFL Roads

Maintaining safety on the roads means anticipating what hazards you are likely to encounter. For South Florida in the summertime, those include:Cape Coral injury lawyers

  • More Traffic. The Florida Office of Tourism estimates more than 35 million people visited the Sunshine State between July and September 2022 (which marks a 7 percent increase compared to Q3 in 2021 and the fifth consecutive quarter of tourist increases). Not everyone who visits Florida drives to get here, but most are in a car or bus at some point. More people on the road translates to greater risk of a crash. Congested traffic can also lead to road rage and other aggressive driving behaviors.
  • More inexperienced drivers. It’s not just tourists contributing to heightened summertime traffic. With school out, teen drivers are on the roads in full force during summertime. In fact, the “100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers” occurs in the summer months. Teens are already at a disadvantage behind the wheel, thanks to their lack of skills, lack of experience, and immaturity. They’re more likely to speed, make driving errors, forgo their seatbelts, and become distracted (especially if their friends are in the car). Now factor in that they’re off school, their parents are likely at work, and they’ve got the keys – and a newfound sense of freedom. They’re apt to test boundaries and take risks they shouldn’t. Cape Coral injury lawyers  know this puts not only them but their passengers and others with whom they share the road at greater risk of crash-related injury and death.
  • More tire blowouts. Hot weather can be great for the spirit – not so much for your tires. Heat can cause the air in your tires to expand, resulting in a tire blowout. This is particularly a concern when the temperature soars over 90 or 100 degrees for 2+days or more – which is very common in Florida summers. It’s worth pointing out that vehicle owners who fail to properly maintain their cars – including taking care of their tires – can be liable if that lack of maintenance contributed to the crash.
  • More fatigued drivers. Drowsy driving is a major problem, contributing to at least 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $13 billion in monetary losses each year. It’s a year-round issue, but it can be exacerbated in Florida summers for a few reasons. One involves people on summer road trips. It’s not uncommon for drivers to pull marathon driving days in hopes of hurrying to their vacation destination – particularly if the final stop is in South Florida. Beyond that, the heat itself can cause you to feel drained. (It’s the reason you’re likely to feel so much more tired after a day at the beach compared to one spent indoors – even if you were equally as active/inactive.)
  • More rainy afternoons. Florida afternoon thunderstorms can be beautiful to witness – but terrifying to drive in, especially if you aren’t familiar with them. Not only can the roads be slick or even flooded, but sheets of torrential rain can reduce visibility to almost nothing. If you find yourself caught in a sudden, afternoon summer rainstorm, it’s best to pull over to the shoulder and put your hazards on. More than likely, it won’t be long before it passes and the skies are clear again.
  • More drunk driving accidents. Gatherings for Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, etc. – all of these are cause for big gatherings, boat outings, barbeques, and beach days. For many, that includes drinking alcohol. In turn, we see an uptick in drunk driving – which puts everyone at risk. Drunk driving is not only a crime, it can be the basis for a finding of negligence in a civil car accident case. It’s truly not worth the risk; if you’re too drunk to drive, stay where you are, ride with a friend, or opt for a ridesharing service. (It might be an inconvenience to go back and get your car the next day, but that’s still WAY cheaper than the fallout of a drunk driving arrest and/or drunk driving accident.)

If you’re injured in a South Florida summertime car accident, our Southwest Florida injury lawyers can help.

 If you are injured in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Cape Coral, Naples, or Key West, contact Garvin Injury Law at 800.977.7017 for a free initial consultation. 

Additional Resources:

Summer Driving Tips, NHTSA

More Blog Entries:

Prevent a Florida Car Accident With These Summer Road Trip Driving Tips, June 15, 2022, Cape Coral Injury Lawyer Blog

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