Have you ever thought about how the weather affects our roads? A rainstorm might cause some traffic delays. A sunny day means you’ll need your sunglasses behind the wheel. However, the weather’s effects can be longer-lasting and more devastating. Louisiana’s heat and humidity combine to wreak havoc on our roads and bridges. Southern summers are especially brutal. Winter’s cold rains and freezing temperatures can crack asphalt and concrete. Then once summer comes around, the heat turns the cracks and air gaps into potholes. Summer driving can be full of dangers.
The Summertime Blues On The Road
And it’s not just the road conditions that affect our driving experience. Summer’s also the riskiest time to drive, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It’s responsible for keeping people safe on America’s roadways. The CrashStats website collects all kinds of data about driving on America’s roads. They also report recalls, issue grants, and offer information on driving safety.
Many people assume the slippery ice over the winter might cause the most accidents. But actually, more crashes occur over the summer. NHTSA’s trend data analyzed highway crash fatality by month and day over 27 years. Vehicle occupant fatalities peak in July and August, then decrease the rest of the year. In recent data, May, June, August, and October saw increases in fatalities from 2017 to 2018. All the other months saw decreases. The highest increase was in August at 2.3%.
How To Stay Safe On The Summer Roads
To help drivers during the most dangerous months, NHTSA issued summer driving tips. Most are common sense, but there might be a few you haven’t thought about:
- Stay alert when driving on long trips
- Watch for motorcycles
- Don’t engage in distracted driving such as texting
- Refrain from drinking and drugs
- Obey speed limits
- Keep your kids safe in and around the car
- Be informed about vehicle recalls
- Regularly check your vehicle’s tire pressure, lights, fluid levels, and wiper blades
- Pack an emergency roadside kit
These are all fantastic tips everyone should follow. However, these will only keep you as safe as the roads you’re driving on. To TRULY be safe in future summers, we need to FINALLY fix Louisiana’s crumbling roads and bridges.
Take Action This Summer
Do you want to take some steps to make driving safer this summer and any time of year? Join us at the Louisiana Coalition To Fix Our Roads (LCFOR). We’re a statewide nonprofit advocating for improving our state’s roads and bridges. Business leaders, associations, and chambers of commerce join together. We all believe Louisiana’s economic growth requires a safe, efficient highway system.
You can help by taking action on our website. We have a quick and easy-to-use form to tell your lawmakers to fix our roads and bridges. They’re in session now, making important decisions that affect Louisianians’ lives. You can also follow us on our social media to stay updated and help spread the word! We’re on Facebook and Twitter, and we use the hashtag #FixLARoads.