Spring Car Accidents at an All-Time HighRequest a Free Consultation
While spring is a beautiful time, it is accompanied by some dangers that you need to be aware of.
Indulging in The Beauty of Spring
It’s that time. We have all waited long enough, counting down the days till the sun hangs just a bit longer in the sky. Our neighbor’s Red Maple has blossomed, and we admire it from the kitchen window as we drink our morning coffee, putting a smile on our face first thing in the morning. On our commute to work, the abundance of pink and white flowers of Dogwood trees reminds us of the simplistic beauty all around us. When the sun comes out, it shines brightly through our windshield, and the heat of the sun feels delightful. We switch to a happier playlist and turn the music up just a little bit louder. With a later sunset, we feel we can take on the world, as there seem to be more hours in the day. This boost of serotonin quickly motivates us to pursue activities that make us happy outside of our normal routine. However, spring is not only categorized by good vibes and joy.
Beware of Too Much of a Good Thing
Although spring is a time for renewal and growth, it is a dangerous and notorious time for car accidents. People want to take advantage of the day by embarking on morning or early afternoon bike rides or going for a run. They finally make time to do things they have been putting off. Families hit the road to go to parks, and adventurers like myself take hour-long drives out of town to admire what the landscape has to offer. Spring is a time for increased travel, more pedestrians, and bicyclists, and thus, more opportunities for car accidents. Be prepared to navigate this time safely.
Things To Be Mindful Of
- Rain showers are common in the springtime, creating wet and slippery roads.
- Spring is known for its foggy mornings, which impair visibility.
- An influx of drivers on the road increases traffic volume and the likelihood of congestion and accidents.
- Longer days can lead to drivers becoming more fatigued, particularly in their evening commute.
- The most common cause of car accidents in the spring is driver inattention, failure to yield to the right of way, following too closely, and speeding.
- According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), there was a total of 270,231 motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey between 2010 and 2019, 22% of which occurred in the spring months.
- In 2019 alone, 24,841 crashes occurred during the spring and resulted in 46 fatalities and 10,752 injuries.
- From these same statistics, driver inattention contributed to 28% of all springtime crashes in New Jersey.
- Based on data from the NJ State Police’s 2021 fatal crash report, the spring months generally see an increase in car crashes and fatalities. In the chart below, you can see an increase of 10 crashes and 10 fatalities from 2017 to 2021.
Help Yourself and Others on The Road
- Check your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary to prepare for the spring rain.
- Make sure your brakes are in good, working condition. This will save your life, especially when traveling in slippery conditions.
- Follow posted speed limits and adjust your speed to suit the road and weather conditions.
- Stay alert for pedestrians or bicyclists, especially in residential areas or near parks. People are more active during the spring.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles. This is particularly helpful in wet or slippery conditions.
- Take extra care when driving in foggy or low-visibility conditions. Give yourself extra time to travel to your destination.
- Utilize hazards if needed to help other drivers see you on the road.
- Always keep a safe following distance from other vehicles. Braking and steering can be affected in wet or sudden conditions.
- Avoid driving while drowsy or fatigued.
- Salted roads from the snowy winter months can worsen potholes. Be aware of these road hazards and adjust your driving accordingly.
With wet and slippery roads, increased traffic volume, and driver fatigue, the risk of car accidents during the spring is significantly higher than during other times of the year. Taking precautions like adjusting driving speeds to the weather and road conditions, avoiding distractions, and being mindful of other divers on the road are important to ensure your safety and that of others on the road. By taking precautions, we can work to reduce the number of accidents that occur during the springtime in New Jersey.