5 Summer Driving Safety Tips for Drivers in Utah

You already know that you need to take special precautions for driving in winter, when hazards like snow and ice increase your risk of a car accident. What you might not realize is that driving in summer can be just as dangerous, even though the roads and skies are clear. Salt Lake City personal injury lawyer Darwin Overson offers five summer driving safety tips for Utah residents (and road-trippers). Hopefully, following these tips will help you avoid an accident and enjoy a safe summer with your loved ones.

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What Time of Year Do Most Car Accidents Happen in Utah?

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS), there were slightly more than 60,000 car accidents in Utah during 2015, the most recent year where statistics are available. Sadly, about 260 of these accidents were fatal, causing nearly 280 deaths that arguably could have been prevented with safe driving practices.

Most of the fatal crashes happened during summertime. Accidents that happened during the months of June, July, and August accounted for just under one third of the fatalities (90 out of 278), despite making up only one quarter of the year.

This wasn’t unique to 2015, either. Data stretching all the way back to 2006 shows that the summer months consistently produce some of Utah’s worst accident fatality statistics, as you can see by taking a look at the DPS data below. The first chart shows fatalities per month each year from 2006 to 2015, while the graph below it shows total monthly deaths over the course of that decade.

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Source: Utah Crash Summary 2015 – Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office

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Source: Utah Crash Summary 2015 – Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office

While there are certainly a few outliers – for example, the unusually high fatalities during January 2006 and 2008 – it’s easy to tell that, unfortunately, summer is a very dangerous time of the year for drivers in Utah. That’s exactly why the following driving safety tips for summer are so important.

5 Tips to Drive Safely in Summer

You can decrease your risk of an accident by making small changes to the way you drive. How many of these safe summer driving habits do you already have mastered?

  1. Bring a pair of sunglasses. Glare from the sun causes accidents every summer by interfering with driver visibility. If you’re blinded for even a second, that could be the second you cause an accident. Sunglasses can help you stay focused on what’s around you.
  2. Watch out for motorcycles, cyclists, and pedestrians. Nice weather means more people on the roads. Be extra vigilant for bikers, joggers, and cyclists around you, being particularly mindful of your blind spots. As a Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you, most motorcycle crashes happen from June to September. In 2015, there were 659 motorcycle wrecks during these four months alone – more than the rest of the year combined.
  3. Get a full night of sleep. Utah crash statistics show that more car accidents were caused by drowsy driving during June 2015 than any other month – followed by July and August. Get plenty of rest before that summer road trip, and if you start to feel sleepy or unfocused, pull over as soon as safely possible.
  4. Never drive after drinking. In 2015, most of the fatal car accidents that involved alcohol happened during June (30), July (28), and August (37). The only exceptions were April an October 2015, which also had high numbers at 29 and 41 respectively. Enjoy the summer responsibly, and always call a cab or make other transportation arrangements if you’ve been drinking even a little. Don’t forget that Utah recently changed its DUI laws, lowering the BAC from 0.08 to just 0.05.
  5. Make an emergency accident preparedness kit. As the Boy Scouts say, “Always be prepared.” A good summertime car accident emergency kit should include plenty of water, a first aid kit, a change of clothes, car repair tools, your cell phone, cell phone chargers, a flashlight, non-perishable food, sunblock, and anything else you can think to include.

Get Legal Help from a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer if You Were Injured in a Car Accident

You’re a careful driver who always obeys traffic laws. Unfortunately, no matter how defensively you drive, you can’t control the actions of the drivers around you. Even if you play by the rules, other motorists can still crash into you, or cause an accident that forces you to swerve.

Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in that sort of situation. However, if you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

If you or a family member was hurt in a car crash anywhere in the state of Utah, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 for a free legal consultation concerning your auto accident claim. With over three decades of legal experience, Salt Lake City car accident lawyer Darwin Overson handles personal injury cases throughout the state of Utah.

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