Summer is right around the corner. With winter far behind, will the dry, clear roads mean there is a decline in car accidents? For those who drove through winter storms trying to get to work, it seems that better driving conditions in the summer should be safer.

Interestingly, though, this assumption is wrong. The truth is that summer months tend to have more catastrophic and even fatal accidents than winter months. Clearly, something other than the weather is at play here.

One potential reason for the rising accident totals is that teens drive more in the summer when school is out. This is true for both high school and college students. Since teens have high accident rates, putting all of them on the road at the same time increases the risk. Accidents decline in the fall when that age group spends about seven hours per day in the classroom.

Another reason for the uptick in auto accidents is that people often take vacations in the summer, which leads to more road congestion. Also, motorists simply cover more miles, increasing the risks that they face. They tend to stay home more in the winter — in part because of the bad roads — which ironically makes it safer even though the snow-covered roads seem more dangerous.

Summer also adds new types of traffic. You have cyclists near the shoulder and motorcyclists pulling their powerful bikes out of the garage. People ride for leisure, rather than just driving out of necessity. Once again, traffic levels and congestion lead to more accidents.

If you lose a loved one in a crash or suffer serious injuries yourself, you need to know how to seek the compensation you deserve.