As the weather warms up and the days get longer, many people are eager to hit the road and enjoy the summer months ahead. But unfortunately, summertime is also the most dangerous time on the road.

In this article, we’ll discuss why this is the case and provide some tips for Minnesota drivers on staying safe on the road and avoiding accidents.

Why Is Driving in the Summer More Dangerous?

With kids out of school and families going on vacations, the months between June and September are much more crowded than they are during the rest of the year. This increased traffic can lead to more accidents, especially in areas where roads are already congested.

Summertime is also when more inexperienced drivers are out on the road. Teenagers who have just gotten their licenses are more likely to drive during summer and may need more experience to handle dangerous situations. Additionally, many tourists drive in unfamiliar areas, which can also lead to accidents.

7 Summer Driving Safety Tips

If you want to stay safe on the road, you can do a few things to protect yourself and loved ones in the car.

  1. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers in your vehicle do as well.
  2. Avoid distractions while driving, such as eating while behind the wheel, changing music on your playlist, or getting lost in conversation or thought.
  3. If you’re using an in-car GPS, pull over if you need to change your destination or add a stop. Trying to operate your GPS or stereo system while driving is just as dangerous as texting while driving.
  4. Remember that Minnesota has been a “hands-free” state since 2019, which means it’s illegal to operate a hand-held phone while driving.
  5. Stay alert and focused on the road, and be aware of other drivers.
  6. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and adjust your speed according to the weather and road conditions.
  7. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before hitting the road, including checking your tires, brakes, and lights.

How to Protect Yourself from Reckless Drivers

There are several ways you can avoid accidents with people driving recklessly.

Firstly, it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for any drivers who are weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, or driving aggressively. If you notice a driver behaving recklessly, try to create some distance between your vehicle and theirs.

You can do this by:

  • Slowing down slightly
  • Changing lanes
  • Pulling over to the side of the road for a few moments

Avoid engaging with aggressive or reckless drivers, as this can escalate the situation and increase the risk of an accident. The summer months can be hot, adding to drivers feeling irritated while driving. Keep your cool and consider not driving during rush hour, when more people are on the road.

When Is Rush Hour?

Rush hour traffic in Minnesota typically occurs during the morning and evening commute times, which are around 7:00-9:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm respectively. During these times, the roads are much more crowded, and traffic can move at a much slower pace. It’s best to avoid driving during these times if possible, as it can lead to a higher risk of accidents and more stress while on the road.

If you do need to drive during rush hour, be sure to plan ahead, leave plenty of time for your commute, and stay focused on the road to avoid any potential accidents.

Minnesota Passenger Restrictions

In addition to the summer driving safety tips mentioned above, it’s important to familiarize yourself with state restrictions, especially for new drivers on the road. Did you know that in Minnesota, drivers are only allowed one passenger under the age of twenty for the first six months of driving, up to three passengers under the age of twenty for the second six months, unless a parent or guardian is present.

In the end though, it is up to the parent to decide and enforce a restriction on passengers. Although your teen might think of you as the ultimate killjoy, baring other teen passengers for the first year of driving is reasonable if it means keeping your teen alive.

Hurt in a Car Accident?

If you do find yourself in an accident this summer, it’s important to seek legal help right away. Meshbesher & Spence specializes in personal injury cases, including car accidents. Our team can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.

Contact us today. Your consultation is always free and you don’t pay unless you win.