According to a WBZTV report, five Massachusetts state troopers have been involved in car accidents while on the job in June and July. The most tragic accident involved Trooper Douglas Weddleton, who was killed when he was struck by drunk driver after pulling over another vehicle.
These accidents highlight a disturbing yet unsurprising trend for the summer months. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) says that summer is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. August was listed as the deadliest month to be driving, with over 3,600 deaths nationwide in 2008.
Beyond August, three of the four deadliest holidays also occur in the summer months. The Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day each had more than 425 traffic related fatalities in 2008. They trailed only Thanksgiving in the total number of deaths.
Though one of every three traffic fatalities occur during the summer months, most people mistakenly consider winter to be the most dangerous season to be driving. The Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) at the University of Minnesota found that 83 percent of people named winter as the deadliest season to drive; only 8 percent believed it to be summer.
One reason for the increase in these months is that there are more people on the road. Many people travel, take vacations or try to take advantage of the warmer weather. Alcohol is also a major contributing factor to accidents in the summer months, especially over the holiday weekends and at night.
Related Resource: Boston Globe “Police Investigate Two Fatal Accidents“