Heatwaves and climate change have been in the news lately, and while Islamorada and other South Florida communities are hardly strangers to high temperatures, this is a good time to review the link between hot temperatures and car accidents and to discuss ways to lower your risk of crashes, no matter what weather you’re driving in.
How Heat Contributes to Crashes
Driving on a sunny summer day can seem very pleasant, but there are a few added dangers when temperatures soar:
- Visibility: Glare and bright sunshine can make it harder to see what’s in front of you and sunshine can eventually hurt your eyes, making it harder to see.
- Physical ability: Research has shown that high heat can slow down thinking and can reduce our ability to perform physical activities. Our bodies don’t perform at their peak in high heat, and this can lead to collisions.
- Wildlife: Hot temperatures can cause animals to go further away from their usual habitats in search of shade and water. They may be more active at dusk and dawn, when wildlife-related collisions can happen.
- Car troubles: Just like the heat is hard on our bodies, it can be hard on our vehicles, too. Cars can overheat and the rubber on our tires can experience more wear and tear from hot roads, potentially leading to tire blowouts.
Preventing Heat-Related Accidents
When it’s hot and you need to travel somewhere, use these precautions to stay safe:
- Always check your car before you exit it to make sure you’re not leaving a pet or child alone in a hot car, even for a minute
- Stay hydrated
- Wear sunscreen in your car, especially if you drive with windows open
- Take frequent breaks when on a longer drive
- Park in the shade or use a reflective windshield cover to keep your car cool while it’s parked
- Wear sunglasses and use your car’s visors to reduce glare
- Use air conditioning or crack your windows open to keep cool while driving
- Pull over if you start to feel dizzy or weak
- Maintain your car with regular tune-ups
- Keep your windshield fluid topped up to ensure good visibility
What To Do If You’re in a Car Collision
If you’re in a car crash on a hot day, stay calm and contact emergency services for anyone who needs them. Get contact information for any witnesses and take photos of the scene in addition to getting insurance information from any other drivers involved. In addition, make sure everyone involved stays in the shade and stays cool while evaluating the scene or waiting for help to arrive.
After your accident, get a full medical evaluation, even if you’re not sure you’ve been injured. Contact your insurance provider to report the accident. You may also want to call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. Or you can contact us online. Our legal team has more than 60 years of combined experience and we can help you determine whether you have a claim that lets you seek compensation for your car damages, injuries, lost wages, and other losses. Your first consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation, so there is no risk to you.