Temperatures are rising around the nation, and summer is in full bloom. Lots of motorists, relieved that the winter snows and the spring storms are over, are finally relaxing a little.

Unfortunately, that’s a mistake. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, summer is actually the most dangerous time of all to be on the road. Every year, traffic fatalities start rising after the snows wind down. They peak around August and then decline again once the cold weather returns.

What’s behind the phenomenon? There are probably a number of different factors in play, including:

  • Increased travel due to vacationers, day trippers and more: With more vehicles on the road, you’re likely to have more accidents.
  • More motorcycles and bicycles in traffic: When the weather gets nice, the bikes come out. However, drivers in trucks and passenger vehicles aren’t always as observant as they should be.
  • More tire blowouts: Hot weather causes the air inside tires to expand, which can easily lead to blowouts when the treads are worn out.
  • More road construction: Those work zones pop up all over the place rather suddenly, and not all drivers approach them with due caution.
  • Drivers may be more distracted: Something about driving on the snow and ice tends to make drivers more focused. When drivers are less worried about road conditions, they may let their minds wander or get distracted by electronics, the radio or their passengers.

Stay conscious of the dangers out there on the roads this summer. The information can help you stay accident-free. If you are in a wreck with a negligent driver, however, make sure that you take the appropriate steps to protect your interests.