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Welcome to the Summer Accident Season

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 06/13/2012

Summer means BBQs, camping trips, vacations, and unfortunately an increase in auto accidents.

auto accident season

Young drivers need to be the most cautious while driving during the summer.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that your chances of getting into an auto accident are higher in the summer than at any other time of the year. Even the experience of law enforcement agencies and their reaction with more summer patrols confirm this. For one particular driving group though, the chances of getting into an accident in the summer are triple that of everyone else.

Summer Holiday Auto Accident Statistics

Of the 6 major holiday weekends during the year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has gathered statistics (from 2009) showing that the holidays in the summer are the deadliest.

  1. 473 deaths on Memorial Day weekend (summer)
  2. 410 deaths over 4th of July weekend (summer)
  3. 360 deaths over Labor Day weekend (summer)
  4. 262 deaths over a 3-day Christmas weekend (winter)

The remaining two weekends were actually four days long instead of three like the ones above:

  1. 468 deaths over New Year’s weekend (winter)
  2. 411 deaths over Thanksgiving weekend (fall)

As you can see, even with New Year’s being a 4-day weekend, it still had less fatalities as compared to the 3-day Memorial Day weekend. The same can be said of Thanksgiving weekend, it only had one more fatality than 4th of July weekend and there was an extra day included in the Thanksgiving weekend.

Who is Most at Risk for a Summer Auto Accident?

The drivers with the highest risk for having a summer auto accident are those between the ages of 15 and 20, by far. They have less experience on the road, are easier to distract, and drive more during the summer because school is out. Per statistic from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, drivers in this age group are three times more likely to get into a fatal accident as compared to other older drivers.

To keep your young driver from being one of these statistics, set ground rules for when they drive:

  • Do not let them drive with friends in the car.
  • Emphasize no cell phone use while driving.
  • Don’t let new drivers drive at night until they get more experience.
  • Use a tracking device on the vehicle where you can get information about where they drive and how fast they drive.

Summer Premium Increases not Auto Accident Related

With summer auto accidents, come insurance premium increases. Insurance companies don’t like when they have to pay out on a claim and they will increase your premium to not only recoup what they lost in the claim, but also to get ready for another claim from you.

Aside from auto accidents though, there are other situations that arise in the summer that can also increase your insurance premium:

  • College Students coming home from school for the summer.
  • New cars having to be added to your insurance policy that were given as graduation gifts.
  • Another semester of driver’s education ending and a new wave of young drivers with new licenses having to be added to insurance policies.
  • Summer delivery jobs

As you can see, most of the summer increases still come from young drivers. While these situations will increase your premium, it is still better to have these types rather than increases that come from a young driver having an auto accident.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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