High heat brings out the worst in us, including tired, distracted drivers riding on older tires ready to blow says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.
Higher temperatures decrease mental and physical performance so it should be no surprise our driving abilities hit a low when we hit year round temperature highs in Southern Florida. With hot temperatures tire failures are also more likely and can cause additional accidents. Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne says when August temperatures get super steamy be super careful when driving.
Though rain, snow, fog, wind, hail and ice are often discussed as risks to safe driving, the impact of heat on increasing the chances of an accident get less attention. Though higher temps are long known to cut our ability to perform physically and mentally a 2013 study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the relationship between high temperatures and traffic accident fatalities and injuries in the Catalonia section of Spain.
- Researches stated there were a total of 118,489 vehicle crashes causing injuries or deaths that occurred between May 15 and October 15 each year from 2000 to 2011, an average of 64.1 crashes per day.
- The chances of vehicle accidents significantly increased, by 2.9%, during heat waves and the connection was stronger when only accidents where driver performance issues were the problem, increasing the risk by 7.7%.
- The risk injury causing fatal vehicle accidents increased by 1.1% for each 1°C increase in maximum temperature.
- Overall the chances of a serious accident sharply increased during heat waves, especially when distractions, driver error, fatigue or sleepiness were to blame for the collisions.
- While other issues are a far greater threat (drivers have a 300% greater risk of an accident if they’re using a cell phone and driving) heat related driver performance problems still add up to a large number of accidents over the years.
In addition to the sleepy, distracted drivers behind the wheel on hotter days the roadway and tires can be safety problems too. Worn, older, improperly inflated tires travelling at highway speeds on hot pavement baking in the Florida sun for hours can literally explode because the tire weakens over time and use and pressure built up inside them. If a driver is negligent in the care of his or her tires and a blowout causes an accident which results in injuries or deaths, that driver may be held accountable for his or her carelessness.
Tire failures resulting from aging are more common in the summer, during daylight and while the vehicle is operating at highway speeds, according to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, reports the Palm Beach Post. All tires breakdown with age and heat speeds up the aging process.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests drivers should perform a number of vehicle checks when the weather heats up, including tires.
- They should be looked at when the vehicle hasn’t been driven for a while and be inflated to the air pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer (not the pressure figure on the tire sidewall).
- The manufacturer’s recommendations are normally found in the owner’s manual or on a tire information sticker on the driver’s door jamb.
- Tire treads should be looked at for adequate depth and signs of uneven wear and sidewalls with cracks or bulges are signs of trouble.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted or fatigued driver in the heat of the summer or it’s the result of a tire blowout, contact Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.