Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Long Sunny Days, Wide Empty Roads

Long Sunny Days, Wide Empty Roads

False Sense of Security

The sun is shining, the days are long, and the beach, lake, and mountains beckon. The excitement of warm weather and promise of vacation coupled with the seemingly ideal summer driving conditions can lull drivers into a false sense of security. In fact, a Michelin study on driver safety found that 74% of drivers believe that less accidents happen during the summer. However, summer roads are not quite as safe as they seem.

Summer Dangers
The summer months are actually among the most dangerous on the roads and precisely because of that sense of security that warm weather and clear roads bring. As drivers lower their guard, they tend to relax their driving standards, becoming less vigilant than they might be in the snow or rain. The results can be deadly. Car crashes are often at their highest during the summer months while recent data showed August as second to highest for fatal crashes while July and August were among the highest of the year for crash injuries. 

Nature's Traffic Calming

Making sure that cars are traveling at safe speeds and that drivers stay alert is important all year long. But for much of the year, nature does her part to keep drivers on their toes. While the perils of distracted driving beckon drivers all year long, conditions like snowy roads, pouring rain, or slippery leaves can be enough to urge drivers to focus on the road ahead. In the summertime, when roads are clear and the sun is often shining bright, it becomes the job of cities, more than ever, to find ways to keep drivers alert and calm traffic.

Man-Made Effort
Nature has the right idea by creating changing road conditions to keep drivers focused. In fact, the earliest traffic calming configurations were made precisely to make driving more challenging in order to stop speeding. Physical devices such as speed humps or cushions compel drivers to focus on navigating their cars carefully. Brightly lit speed signs are another powerful way to grab drivers attention and return their focus to their driving. Summer roads don’t have to be dangerous. Traffic calming can make the difference