The extreme summer heat of Arizona is not to be taken lightly. The month of July has routinely seen temperatures exceed 110° Fahrenheit, leading to heat advisories and health warnings for large portions of, if not the entirety of, the state. The dangers of this weather are frequently pointed out, but it’s not mentioned nearly as much about how extreme heat can result in a greater incident rate of automobile accidents.
Studies have shown that even in a change from 70° Fahrenheit to 80° Fahrenheit, responses to external stimuli in a driving environment were 22% slower and the rate of missing these stimuli was 50% higher. This data could easily be extrapolated to indicate the potentially greater impact of even higher temperatures on the average driver. Extreme heat can fatigue the body and mind even when at rest, let alone when performing an action, like driving, that utilizes physical effort and cognitive processes. If you’re going to be out on the roads in conditions like this, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle has a functioning and adequate air-conditioning unit, and that you as a driver are well-rested and well-hydrated. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for these conditions and have that negligence leave you liable for any accidents you cause.
The blistering heat won’t just blister your skin; it could also blister your tires. Asphalt roads absorb heat, and tires that are already warm from the outside temperature can heat up even more from the surface temperature of the road. These problems can be exacerbated if tires are underinflated or already well-worn. The risk of a tire blowout increases as the heat does, putting yourself and other drivers at risk. The danger of the heat also extends to your engine and radiator. Damage to any of these parts of your vehicle can bring catastrophic consequences to your repair bills or your safety.
Even if you keep yourself rested and hydrated and your car well-maintained, danger from the heat can still exist in the road itself. In areas of consistently high temperatures, like in Arizona, road tar can liquify and bubble up to the surface, creating slick spots that can cause a car’s tires to lose grip while driving. In other areas of the country that aren’t as dry as Arizona, roads can buckle due to the heat causing an expansion of moisture in the asphalt. Situations like these can be very difficult to predict and plan for, but being aware of the possibility of them can at least help mitigate the chances of falling victim to them.
Trying to beat the heat is hard but trying to prove the negligence of another driver in a car crash can be harder still. An experienced auto accident attorney may be able to prove that you weren’t responsible for your accident and that your medical bills should be covered by the other, negligent party. Call ELG Law at 623-321-0566 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. You can take every precaution you can against the heat but still fall victim to another driver’s negligence. Stay cool-headed and contact ELG Law today!