Michigan drivers do not have to worry about snow, sleet or ice in the summer months, but that does not mean they can be less vigilant. When the weather improves and daylight hours stretch into the early evening, motorists have to contend with different but just as dangerous road hazards. Summer is a time for road trips and vacations, and many of the vehicles that explore the country between June and September are recreational vehicles or large pickup trucks towing boats or campers.
Summer driving hazards
Road surfaces are safer in the summer because ice cannot form and rain evaporates quickly, but driving is even more dangerous because traffic is heavier. Data from the Michigan State Police reveals that first responders were dispatched to 116 fatal accident scenes in the Wolverine State in January and February 2021. In July and August, they were sent to 232 fatal crash sites. This suggests that the chances of being involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident in Michigan are about twice as high in the summer. Many of these fatal crashes are caused by excessive speed or distraction, which are particularly dangerous in construction zones.
Bicycles and motorcycles
Most of the people who prefer to travel on two wheels drive cars, SUVs or pickup trucks during the winter months, but they take to the roads on bicycles or motorcycles when temperatures rise. This is why motorcyclist and cyclist fatalities soar during the summer months. Other common summer driving hazards include vacationing drivers who are unfamiliar with local roads, increased pedestrian traffic and a greater number of teenage motorists.
Avoiding summer accidents
Traffic accident statistics show that driving is more dangerous in the summer than it is in the winter. The best ways to avoid summer car accidents are remaining alert at all times, following traffic laws and practicing defensive driving techniques. Motorists should be aware that bicycle and motorcycle traffic increases significantly when weather conditions improve, and they should also take great care around large and cumbersome vehicles that may be driven by vacationers.