Do heat waves increase the chances of auto accidents?

There are a wide variety of concerns when it comes to motor vehicle collisions. Many people focus on drunk drivers and understand how dangerous it can be to ignore traffic signs and drive recklessly. However, there are many other factors which can lead to a fatal motor vehicle collision and some may be completely out of a driver’s control. For example, extreme weather events including heat waves can be problematic when it comes to traffic safety.

Data that was published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shows the results of a study, which found that heat waves cause a significant increase in the likelihood of motor vehicle wrecks. The study, which assessed more than 118,000 collisions, found that during a heat wave the likelihood of an accident was 2.9 times greater.

In the summer months, it is important to be aware of these risks if you plan on driving during extreme temperatures. If temperatures are too hot to handle, you may want to consider staying off of the road altogether. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that some drivers may not have air conditioning in their vehicle, for example, which could increase the chances of them driving erratically. Other drivers may be struggling with heat exhaustion after working outside or participating in an outdoor activity. Even if you do not expect a heat wave to affect your driving abilities, many other drivers may be suffering from heat-related fatigue and their driving may be adversely impacted by the hot temperatures.