For years I would ask the question to drivers; which month of the year has the most vehicle crashes? Typically I would get December, January or February. But that’s not the case. Do you have any idea which month has the most crashes?
How does July sound? After revealing the answer, I would often see a surprised look on their faces. You also may be asking yourself, how can a month filled with great weather be the month with the most vehicle crashes? Any guesses?
Well, if you think about it, July is the busiest month for summer vacations. I too take my family away for a week during that month. It’s not surprising with all those vehicles on the road that crashes seem to escalate. Everyone seems to have a place to get to. Even those who are having a “stay-cation” will head out for day trips. Then there are those who head away from home for that much needed week “away from it all”.
But what about the winter weather of snow and ice – why doesn’t that escalate into a high crash month? Well, for the most part, people stay home in poor weather. For many, it’s just too cold to head out for trips in the cold winter weather. Many others won’t vacation in the cold weather. They would rather save their vacation time for the warmer weather.
So with that being said, what can we do to reduce the number of vehicle collisions during the summer months? Well, glad you asked. Staying home isn’t really the way I’m thinking, so plan your trip well. If it’s a long trip, plan where you’ll take breaks that would include where to have a washroom break. Needing to use the washroom can seriously take the attention away from any driver. Ensure you have your maps ready or if you use a GPS, ensure you program your trip accordingly. No one really likes to miss their turn. And if you do, there are a few things you can do to get back on track. (Find added information here.)
Making that long drive to your vacation spot can be tiring. Fatigue is a big problem for those heading out or coming back from a vacation. There are a few things you can do to help stay awake and alert. Pulling into a rest area is the perfect plan to catch a quick nap. That’s the best solution to avoid drowsy driving. However, until you can find a good place to pull over, ask your passenger to have a good conversation with you and put the air conditioning on full blast to help keep you awake. Caffeine can help too if you have it. If your brain’s awake, you’ll stay awake.
Other suggestions is, as always, remove your distractions. Keep a water bottle nearby so you won’t have to reach all about the seating compartments to find one. Of course, turn your phone off so you won’t text. Let your passengers help you with that if needed. Since many people enjoy sightseeing, I recommend you do that while walking. Slowing your vehicle down to a crawl where traffic shouldn’t be crawling can be a recipe for disaster.
Packing your vehicle properly will also help. Ensuring you can see out the rear and sides is important. If you have a van, SUV, station wagon or crossover vehicle, ensure baggage is no higher than the top of the backseat. Also ensure nothing loose can fly over the top of the rear seat in the event you have to brake or suddenly steer to avoid a hazard. Other than having flying distractions, these objects can injure an occupant of the vehicle with a sudden change of speed or direction. If it hits the driver, the driver could lose control of the vehicle.
These are just a few things drivers can do to reduce collisions during the busy driving months of July and August…and any other time of the year as well. The main thing is to be prepared and stay focused on driving. After all, it’s now summer and time to enjoy the weather!