Summer Travel Leads to Fatal Car Accidents in St. Louis

Summer Travel Leads to Fatal Car Accidents in St. Louis

A 26-year-old woman traveling to the Lake of the Ozarks for her own bachelorette party was killed when the driver of a vehicle in which she was a passenger attempted to pass a semi-truck and collided with oncoming traffic.

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The driver, one of the decedent’s close friends, contends the truck was emitting severe exhaust fumes, causing her asthmatic friend to cough violently, which prompted her decision to quickly pass the vehicle. The deceased bride-to-be is survived by a 5-year-old son.

St. Louis car accident attorneys know while there is a risk people take anytime they climb into a vehicle, summer tends to see an uptick of severe crashes.

There are numerous reasons. For one thing, there are more people on the road. When the weather is nicer, people aren’t as focused on simply getting from one destination to the next. It’s also a common time for celebrations and vacations – family trips, weddings and honeymoons, holidays with friends and parties. People making long drives can become severely fatigued and also disoriented, which are sometimes contributing factors in crashes. When alcohol is factored into the mix, the problem can be exacerbated. Additionally, there is a greater number of novice drivers sharing the road in summertime, as school is out and teens’ days are less structured.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reported there were a total of 377 automobile fatalities just on Memorial Day weekend alone in 2012. That begins what is frequently coined, “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer” on U.S. roads.

Given the higher likelihood of a crash in summer, it’s imperative that drivers take all necessary precautions and engage in safety-minded driving behaviors at all times behind the wheel.

The NHTSA recently created a “Summer Driving Tips” feature.

The agency begins by offering up the following advice for travelers in advance of the trip. These include ensuring the vehicle in which you will be traveling has received all of its routine maintenance, including oil changes, battery checks, tire rotations and tune-ups. Often, this can go a long way toward preventing a breakdown or other issues that could contribute to a crash. Give your mechanic a heads-up that you plan to be taking a trip so you can ensure the car is in good shape for a long haul.

Anyone traveling with children needs to make sure the booster seats and car seats are installed the right way, and that any children aged 13 and under are riding in the back seat. All passengers should be sure to buckle up. (Bear in mind too, children should never be left in a hot car or unattended in a vehicle, as heat stroke in these situations is a very real danger, particularly in the summer.)

If you are taking an extended trip, be sure to allow for frequent breaks to avoid fatigue. Avoiding engaging in distracting behaviors, such as eating or engaging the GPS while behind the wheel. Take the time to pull over, or have your passenger assist if possible.

Finally, expect that you will encounter more motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians on the road during summer. These are the most vulnerable users of the road, and they are more likely to be out and about during the warmer months. If you anticipate them, you will be more likely to avoid a collision with them.

Additional Resources:
Memorial Day Advisory: NHTSA Releases Summer Driving Tips for Safe Travel During The Holiday Weekend and Summer Months, May 23, 2014, Press Release, National Highway Traffic Safety Association

More Blog Entries:
Police: Summer Driving in St. Louis off to Inauspicious Start, June 20, 2014, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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