When we think of dangerous road conditions on Long Island, most of us would likely think of winter weather. And for good reason, driving when there is snow or ice on the road is one of the most hazardous conditions a driver can face. However, it doesn’t snow every day in Long Island. And when it does snow, we naturally limit the amount of time we spend on the road during those times. On the other hand, driving during the summertime is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than the winter months. Everyone wants to be outside and enjoy the nice weather. The increased number of hazards create many different opportunities for a driver to potentially get into an accident.
Although the bus routes have ended, the fact that school is out means the roads are more hazardous. Teens and college students are now sharing the road, many having just gotten their licenses. They are no doubt the most inexperienced drivers and may not have learned how to drive defensively. Additionally, more cars will be on the road during all times of the day due to these students being off from school.
Construction workers will take advantage of the good weather for road construction projects. Additionally, the winter months often cause damage to roads that require repairing during the summer. Construction zones can be potentially dangerous if drivers are not properly adjusting to the changing traffic during the construction zones.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists will definitely be more abundant during the warm summer days. With high traffic areas, narrow roads, and confusing intersections, Long Island can be especially hazardous for cyclists. Most motorcycle or bicycle accidents that occur are not the cyclists fault, but occur due to drivers not correctly sharing the road with the cyclist.
Once again, nice days will attract a lot of people to be out and about, including pedestrians. Drivers need to be aware of this and always anticipate areas where pedestrians could be crossing the road. Even where there is no crosswalk, drivers should be especially attentive when driving near villages, parks and schools.
Although there is no snow, summer storms can also be incredibly hazardous. Long Island is not immune to severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. On June 30, Suffolk county faced a severe storm with wind speeds reaching over 50mph, causing many trees to fall and leaving thousands without power. During or after these scenarios, it’s important to drive extra defensively and follow the instructions of the police if they are directing traffic.
Additionally, if a traffic light is without power, it is to be treated as a four-way stop sign to determine who has the right of way. But it’s important to remember that other drivers may not know this, so be extra careful when driving through intersections to avoid accidents. We also recently wrote another post detailing the dangers of hydroplaning and how easily they can cause accidents.
Hot weather increases the chances of tire blowouts. During hot days, the asphalt can get very hot, and when tires are under-inflated, a blowout is likely. When a car is driving down a road, the sidewalls of the tires are flexing (bending, grabbing the asphalt), which creates heat. If the tire pressure is correct, then the heat created is minimal. But if the tire pressure is low, then the sidewalls have to do a lot more flexing, and create a lot more heat. Add in the summer sun and eventually the bonds in an under-inflated tire can break down and you’ll have a blowout. Therefore, do not neglect your tire maintenance and make sure they are properly inflated especially during the hot months.
Summer is an exciting time, and we are all looking forward to those beautiful days to enjoy being outside. Keeping in mind these scenarios will help prevent a fun day from turning into a disaster.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.