Summer poses dangerous driving conditions for Kent State students

Mariah Helaney

Historically, summer holds as one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. The top two most dangerous days to drive are July 3 and 4, and the most dangerous month to drive is August, according to the American Safety Council.

Kent Police Department Administrative Lt. Michael Lewis, administrative lieutenant for the Kent Police Department, explained some of the factors that could make these statistics true. 

“A lot of the crashes we see are rear end crashes — most likely due to not paying full attention while driving,” Lewis said.

Lewis stressed the importance of focusing on driving rather than distractions like using the radio, having too many friends in the car and texting.

“If the stereo is loud enough to be heard 30 feet from the car, then it’s too loud and needs turned down,” he said.

While some students save money commuting, junior public relations major Meghan McDonald said it isn’t always worth commuting 45 minutes to Kent with reckless drivers and heat exhaustion as factors.

“A large percent of my day is spent driving, especially during rush hour,” McDonald said. “Driving to class in the summer is a lot more dangerous because kids are home from school so they’re all out on the roads — sometimes as new and inexperienced drivers.”

Kent State Stark student Haley Reed said she commutes 30 minutes to class and hopes to stay safe during the summer commute.

“Since my drive is mostly on highways, I often worry about not making it on time due to traffic jams or dangerous drivers,” Reed said. “Summer amplifies that for me due to the more carefree, lax attitudes that can cause day drinking, texting and lead to reckless drivers.”

Tricia Knoles, community resource officer at Kent State Police Department, said it appears texting while driving in general is on the rise and that hands-free texting is still considered a distraction.

“Anything can wait until you pull off the road to reply to a text message,” she said.

Mariah Helaney is a regionals reporter, contact her at [email protected]