Nevada has some of the most dangerous summer driving conditions in the country. High temperatures and an overabundance of tourism can cause numerous driving risks.
Why Is Vegas Driving Dangerous in the Summer?
- Vacation Traffic
Las Vegas and Clark County are no strangers to tourists and out-of-towners. Millions of tourists flock to Las Vegas in the spring and summer seeking pools, hiking, and other activities in and around Las Vegas. Accordingly, Las Vegas drivers should be on higher alert during these seasons for dangers associated with vacation traffic.
Vacationers tend to be more distracted. Vacationing drivers are also more likely to drive intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Vacation drivers are also more likely to be drowsy than regular commuters because of their long drives to reach the city. These problems are magnified around holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July.
Along with increased vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic also increases in the summer and spring. With the advent of smartphones, earbuds, and other distractions, pedestrians are less likely than ever to be paying attention to their surroundings – including vehicle traffic. Drivers should check twice that pedestrians see them, avoid rushing through crosswalks, and never try to pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.
- Tire Blowouts
Nevada experiences record high temperatures every year, especially during the summer. These high temperatures cause the air in tires to expand. This can cause tire blowouts. The dangers are enhanced if there is a dramatic change in temperature from cold to hot because tires deflate in cold weather and inflate in hot weather. The rapid temperature change reduces tire integrity.
- Construction Season
A lot of construction occurs during the spring and summer in Las Vegas. Construction zones block traffic, close lanes, cause delays, and can result in debris. According to one study, construction zones experience one fatality a week and one injury a day.
- Engine Overheating
Engine overheating is another serious issue during the summer in Las Vegas. Engine overheats can cause vehicles to break down. Some cars and trucks may even catch fire. In both situations, an engine overheat is dangerous and can cause significant damage to the vehicle. Drivers should check their engine coolants, change their oil more frequently, and maintain their air conditioners.