Lower Gas Prices Mean More Traffic Deaths This Summer, Experts Say
If you knew that this summer was expected to see more traffic deaths than the summer of 2014, would you drive more carefully?
Experts – and experienced Colorado car accident lawyers – hope so. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that the summer of 2015 will result in more car accident deaths and serious injuries than the summer of 2014, despite the fact that the number of fatal crashes has been decreasing on U.S. roads for several years.
Why do the experts predict an upswing this summer? They point to two main causes:
- Lower gas prices. With gas prices averaging nearly a dollar less per gallon than the same time last year and sitting at their lowest national average since 2009, more people are choosing to use their extended summer evenings, weekends, and vacation time to hit the road. More cars on the road means an increase in the opportunities for crashes – some of which, unfortunately, become a reality.
- Longer summer. Is the summer really “longer”? In one way, yes. Because Memorial Day fell on May 25 this year, there are 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2015, the “official” weeks of summer driving. Normally, this period covers only 14 weeks. The extra week of summer gives families more time to plan vacations and more time to travel, which experts say increases the risk of accidents.
How can you protect yourself and those you love during summer travel? Keep the basics in mind: reduce distractions, only travel when well-rested, keep your car in good repair, and always wear a seat belt.