Increased Risk Of Car Accidents On Hot Days In Arizona (And Ways To Avoid Getting Into A Crash)
As temperatures continue to rise in Phoenix and elsewhere in Arizona, there is an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. While modern cars are equipped with air conditioning, it does not change the fact that hot weather outside can impact the driver’s performance behind the wheel.
A 2015 study by Spanish researchers found that the risk of getting into a car accident increased on heat wave days largely due to such driver performance factors as distractions, fatigue, and sleepiness. “We noticed this trend earlier, but now we have scientific evidence that the occurrence of motor vehicle accidents increases in hot environments,” says our Phoenix car accident attorney at Lorona Mead.
What did the study find?
The study analyzed the number of car accident injuries and fatalities on different days throughout the summer and found that there was an increased daily count of motor vehicle collisions on heat wave days. As temperatures rise, so does the occurrence of car accidents.
Interestingly, a driver performance-related cause of motor vehicle crashes skyrocketed by nearly 8 percent during heat wave days. In fact, the number of car crashes increased by over 1 percent for each 1°C increase in maximum temperature per day.
Why hot weather can cause car crashes in Arizona
The problem is that in hot environments, a motorist is more likely to make technical driving errors, including but not limited to drifting out of the lane, running red lights, getting distracted, making unsafe lane changes, and others. Also, motorists who operate vehicles in hot weather are more inclined to feel fatigued and sleepy, while their overall driving performance decreases.
Let’s also keep in mind that hot weather increases the risk of overheating of your car as well as such car accident-causing factors as tire blowout and engine problems from the heat. Not to mention that warmer weather means more sun glare, which can blind you or other drivers and increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident.
While it is generally advised to avoid driving when it is extremely hot outside and you notice that the weather has negatively impacted your driving performance. When it is moderately or extremely hot outside, there are certain safety precautions you should take in order to decrease the risk of getting into a car accident.
How to avoid car accidents on hot days
Our experienced car accident attorney in Phoenix has outlined several tips on how to avoid motor vehicle collisions in excessive heat:
- Avoid driving if you are feeling fatigued or sleepy. If you feel exhausted, tired, sleepy, or exhibit any other signs of fatigue, pull over and rest for a few minutes. If you have made one or two mistakes on the road, it is advised to pull over, too.
- Stay away from driving during the hottest part of the day, which is between 12pm and 3pm in Arizona.
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after driving. Drinking plenty of water can eliminate or prevent fatigue, dizziness, and avoid violating traffic laws.
- Maintain your vehicle and ensure that your car’s tires, engine, coolant, and air conditioning are properly functioning. If not, fix or replace them.
Consult with our Phoenix car accident attorney at the Lorona Mead if you have been in a heat-related car accident or any other type of car crash in Arizona. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation. Call at 602-385-6825 or fill out this contact form.