By Stephanie Smith, Public Relations Assistant
Heat stroke, skin cancer and dehydration are all ailments to look out for in the summer, but they only make up a small percentage of injuries. Most are aware we must be cautious in the sizzling, hot sun of the summer, but many fail to recognize the primary cause of death in the summer: car accidents. Auto accidents kill more than 40,000 people in the United States each year and on average and 422 teenagers die in car accidents each month of the summer.
The mystery of elevated car accidents in the summer is no real mystery. There are several aspects that attribute to this statistic. Firstly, teenagers and college students are not in school, giving them more time to engage in speeding, reckless, and drunk driving. Summer is also the season of road construction, which leads to more traffic accidents. In general, there are going to be more drivers on the road due to extra free time and road trips. Each year, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest 100 days for teen drivers and their passengers, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
There are several ways to protect ourselves from getting into an accident, but sometimes it is inevitable as there are always other cars on the road. Here are a few ways to minimize dangers and injuries of car accidents.
1. Always wear a seatbelt! Had Princess Diana been wearing one in 1997, she probably would have survived the crash. Something as simple as buckling yourself in can save your life.
2. Never drive drunk or ride with someone who has been drinking. This should be common knowledge to all, but still each year approximately 16,000 are killed in alcohol related crashes.
3. Sleep deprivation can have a similar affect to being drunk and do affect your motor skills, so remember to get your rest before hitting the road.
4. Avoid being distracted while driving. We all know that feeling when our cell phone chimes while driving. Realistically, you can wait. Chances are your mom texting you to have a good day at work is less important than your safety on the road.
5. More than 40% of fatal car accidents occur at night. Avoid traveling after midnight, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
6. Make sure your vehicle is safe meaning tires are okay on pressure and it runs smoothly. It is difficult to prevent an accident if the car is malfunctioning.
Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble with this stunning revelation, but the key words in car accident is ‘accident’ meaning it can be prevented. It is important that all take safety precautions while on the road, especially in the summer. With that said, hopefully everyone has an enjoyable summer. Please drive safely!