While car accidents are a risk year-round, summer presents certain additional risk factors for drivers and passengers in the Florida Panhandle. From out-of-state vacationers to drunk partiers and even late-evening sun glare, there are a variety of summer-related issues that increase local residents’ and visitors’ risk of being seriously injured in a vehicle collision.
June, July and August: Okaloosa County’s Worst Months for Vehicle Collisions
Statewide, accident rates remain fairly steady throughout the year. For example, in 2016, the monthly number of accidents ranged from a low of roughly 30,000 in November to a high of just over 36,000 in March, with no distinct trend of accident numbers rising or falling between different seasons. But, in Okaloosa County – which encompasses Crestview, Defuniak, Destin, Fort Walton and Niceville – June and July have seen the highest accident rates each of the past five years. Accident rates then begin to taper in August, before dropping off heading into the fall and winter.
What explains this localized increase in vehicle collisions? While the data do not say, some of the added risks Florida Panhandle drivers face during the summer months include:
1. Vacation Traffic
The Florida Panhandle’s beaches are popular summer vacation destinations; and, unlike beaches in southern portions of the state, the easiest way for many out-of-state travelers to reach them is by car. More drivers means more congestion, and this means an increased risk of injurious and fatal vehicle collisions.
2. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a major problem all year long; but, drivers who are trying to follow GPS directions or get in touch with fellow travelers maybe more likely to take their eyes and minds off of the road. At highway speeds and in busy traffic, even a momentary lapse in concentration can lead to a life-changing accident.
3. Drunk Driving
Unfortunately, more vacationers and partygoers also means a likely increase in the number of individuals who make the bad decision to drink and drive. When confronted with a drunk driver, there is often little, if any, chance for innocent motorists and pedestrians to avoid serious injury.
4. Sun Glare
While sun glare is worst during the morning and evening commutes in the fall and winter months, late-evening glare combined with the risk factors discussed above can create dangerous situations in westbound traffic. While sun glare can make it difficult to see the road ahead, this is not an excuse for putting others in harm’s way.
What to Do After a Summer Vehicle Accident
If you get injured in an accident this summer, it is important to discuss your rights with an attorney. Each of the issues we discussed above would likely support a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but securing full compensation from the insurance companies can be a challenge. Follow these tips to help protect your rights, and feel free to contact us if you have questions about your claim.
Speak with a Crestview Auto Accident Attorney at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
For more information about what to do after an auto accident and how to protect your rights against the insurance companies, contact the Crestview, FL law offices of Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, please call (850) 682-2757 or get in touch online now.