The Risk of Injuries from Accidents in Warm Weather

The Risk of Injuries from Accidents in Warm WeatherSummer is an exciting time of year. School is out, the weather is warm, and everyone is headed to parties or ready to relax. However, summer is also the most common time for accidents. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that July specifically shows high rates of accidents, likely because of the July 4th holiday.

There are significantly more travelers on the road, and when a study was conducted over the course of 18 years, it showed that over 68,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in July alone—an average of about 3,600 deaths per year every July.

The truth is, though, that time spent out in the warm weather, whether in the summer or in the fall, can increase the risk of an accident for anyone. Today, we want to look at five specific risks of accidents that you might face.

Car accidents

Car accidents happen all year long, but people tend to be more careless as they travel and have fun in warmer weather. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day has even started to be known as the “100 deadliest days” of the year. It’s said that these couple of months may be so fatal because of a higher number of new drivers, who are more susceptible to drinking and driving, speeding, and distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that a teen simply dialing a phone number while driving increases the likelihood of getting into an accident by six times, while texting increases the likelihood by 23 times.

The heat itself also takes a big toll on your car. The NHTSA talks about how high heat accelerates the rate of degradation in your car, so things like belts and hoses break more easily, which can lead to car troubles or getting into an accident. Remember to routinely inspect your car for anything needing repair, even your air conditioning system. If your system is not efficient or not working at all, it can become really dangerous to be in for people who are more susceptible to heat, like children, older adults, or people in poor health. When your body temperature rises too quickly it can lead to a life-threatening heat stroke.

Bicycle accidents

With nice weather, more people are also out on their bikes, which means more cyclists are on the roads. The NHTSA reports that 938 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2020 alone—and that those deaths were higher in the summer months of June through September. Fault can typically be put on the driver of the in vehicle/bicycle accidents if they fail to notice that there was a cyclist nearby or did not allow them enough room on the road. However, bicycle accidents can also happen if cyclists do not abide by the rules of the road. Even though they’re not driving cars, it is still illegal for cyclists to not obey all the traffic laws.

Playground accidents

When school is out, there are more kids playing on playgrounds either at home or local parks as well. Although, if a toddler or young child is not properly dressed or doesn’t know how to play responsibly, playtime can result in a trip to the hospital. The CDC reported that over 200,000 kids ages 14 and under are treated by the ER per year for injuries sustained on a playground. Of those, kids ages five through nine are the ones that have the highest rate of visits. Depending what equipment they were on or how high they fell, injuries can be serious. Concussions are a real risk, as are compound bone fractures.

Swimming pool accidents

Taking a dip in the pool is always one of the best ways to cool off in the hot weather, but everyone needs to remember to swim with caution. A recent study by the CDC reported that children ages one through four die from drowning in swimming pools more so than any other cause aside from birth defects.

Drowning is also the second leading cause of accidental deaths, right after car crashes. It is estimated that 3,900 fatal accidental drownings and 8,000 non-fatal drownings happen per year and drownings in Kansas City, MO, are no exception. With so much room for error, it’s no wonder almost every state has enacted some kind of federal pool fence regulations. While installing fences around your yard or pool itself could help, it’s unfortunately still not a fool-proof system.

Pedestrian accidents

One very small silver lining of living through a pandemic is that people started walking more. Whether it’s with their dog, a family member, or just to get some exercise, you can see people out and about in all kinds of weather. But accidents can still happen anywhere. According to the NHTSA, over 6,500 pedestrians were killed and 55,000 were injured just in 2020. As a walker, make sure you’re abiding by all the traffic laws, like only crossing at a crosswalk when it’s safe, walking towards oncoming traffic if there are no sidewalks, and avoiding drugs or alcohol as they can impair your judgment. As a driver, try to always be on the lookout for pedestrians, prepare to stop when approaching a crosswalk, and always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Did you suffer the unthinkable loss of a child in a Kansas City, MO, drowning accident? Were you or a loved one injured in a summertime accident in Kansas City? Call the office of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys at 816-471-5111, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph, MO; and Olathe and Overland Park, KS. All offices are by appointment only except for the Kansas City office.