Although it can seem counterintuitive at first, the summer is actually one of the most dangerous times of year to drive. Although the lack of snow and ice on the road and the longer daylight hours seem like they would reduce the number of collisions on Wisconsin highways during the warmer months, there is actually a higher incidence of collisions during the summer, especially for teenage drivers.

You can take steps to reduce your likelihood of being involved in a car accident this summer. Just as you do throughout the year, follow the posted traffic signs and always obey the posted speed limit. Drive defensively and adjust your driving to your surroundings. A few other ways you can avoid car accidents this summer include:

Choose Not to Drink and Drive

Summer often means barbecues, graduation parties, and for those around Green Bay, days on the boat. And a lot of these events mean drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is not only dangerous, it is illegal and carries criminal penalties for those found guilty of OWI.

If you choose to drink, do not drive. Get a ride from a designated driver or use a rideshare like Uber or public transportation to reach your destination. Alcohol inhibits a driver’s perception of the road, his or her judgment, and his or her reaction time, all of which can cause a deadly accident.

Keep your Car from Overheating and Be Prepared for Breakdowns

If your car overheats, it can break down and potentially cause a collision. It can also leave you facing a steep car repair bill or even mechanically total your car. If you notice white vapor coming from under your hood, a strong unpleasant smell in your car, or the needle on your dashboard temperature gauge going beyond the normal temperature range for your engine, pull off the road immediately and turn the car off. Open the hood to allow it to cool, but do not touch anything inside until it has cooled completely. Once you can open the coolant tank, check its level. If all you need is to top it off, do so and get yourself home or to a mechanic to determine if there is a leak in your cooling system.

Share the Road with Others

During the summer months, school is out and there are more teenage drivers on the road than there are during the academic year. Many of these new drivers are driving on unfamiliar roads and could be facing certain roadway challenges for the first time, like navigating a divided highway or driving at night. Pay close attention to the road at all times so you can react to sudden, irrational moves by inexperienced drivers.

Summer is also a popular time of year for road trips. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the roads and cities they visit can make similar mistakes to young drivers, such as driving too slowly and making sudden turns.

In addition to young and visiting drivers, there tends to be more motorcyclists and bicyclists on the road during the warmer months. Again, be conscientious of these individuals to avoid collisions with them.

Keep Yourself Calm, Cool, and in Control Behind the Wheel

It can be easy to become frustrated when sharing the road with the drivers discussed above. This, paired with the heat of the summer months, can easily cause drivers to overreact to others’ actions and create an aggressive driving environment. This is known as “road rage,” and it is not productive for anybody.

When you drive this summer, keep your mood stable by keeping yourself cool physically and emotionally. Keep a bottle of water in the car to keep yourself hydrated at all times. If your vehicle has air conditioning, use it to stay comfortable. When traffic piles up or other drivers make inappropriate moves, do not take it personally. Make safety a priority and do not engage when others make aggressive – or stupid – choices.

Work with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Wisconsin

Even if you take all the necessary precautions to prevent a car accident this summer, there is still a chance that another driver will behave in a negligent manner and cause you to suffer an injury in a collision. If this happens, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your resulting damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of experienced Appleton car accident lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with us. Our Appleton personal injury attorneys can answer any questions you have and help you move forward with the personal injury claim process.