Does Summer Mean Worse Traffic in Phoenix?
Ah, summertime in Phoenix. For many, it’s a time to get out with the family and have a barbecue, perhaps at a local beach. But does it also mean worse traffic? It makes sense that it would, since no one wants to be cooped up at home when they could be out enjoying all this beautiful city has to offer. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Take a drive down one of Phoenix’s busiest roads in the summer, and then in the winter, and you’ll notice that traffic in the cooler months is much worse, and much more slow-going. So, what’s the reason for it?
Why Winter Sees Worse Traffic Than Summer
Winter is when snowbirds start flocking into the city. Trying to escape the snow and ice of their home cities, they come to Phoenix to take in the gorgeous weather that hasn’t gotten too hot for them. But while Phoenix does see an increase in its population, even for a few weeks or months during the winter period, the increased traffic can’t be blamed entirely on them.
After all, snowbirds rarely go downtown, particularly in the winter. And while snowbirds do often tour outside of their condos to take in Phoenix’s sights, for the most part they try to avoid rush hour, which is when the roads in the city become the most clogged.
But this also doesn’t mean that it’s Phoenix’s full-time residents that contribute the most to the congestion. At least, not entirely.
With winter come many university and college students. Many of these students live in Phoenix during the fall and winter months and go back home during the spring and summer. They need to get to their classes, and many jump into a car and get out onto the roads in order to do so. This is particularly true for those that live off-campus (which is a great number of students). In addition to those college and university students, high school students will also be out on the roads in greater numbers, particularly during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Students aren’t the only factor causing more congestion on Phoenix’s roads during the winter. Another factor is the large number of people employed in the construction industry in Phoenix. In the summer, these workers are on the roads early to take advantage of the bright, yet not deadly hot, sun. As the days become increasingly warm, those same workers head home earlier in order to beat the heat.
Adding to the number of construction workers on the road in the winter are workers in other industries. In the winter months, as festivities around the city start to die down, people tend to want to just get home. In the summer, they’ll often stay off the roads, enjoying all that downtown Phoenix has to offer.
Which Roads to Avoid
There are three congested roads in Phoenix that slow to a snail’s crawl sometimes, and they are all freeways. The 10 is by far the worst. Especially if you have to travel on it during the winter, this freeway slows down in both the westbound and eastbound lanes. Following the 10 are the Northbound 101 and Red Mountain 202 from the East Valley.
But what about downtown? You’ll find that roads inside Phoenix proper are by far the most clogged—1st Street South and 2nd Street South have an average speed of about 25 miles per hour. 3rd Street North is just as slow at times, as is West McKinley Street.
These roads are more than just an annoyance for drivers, though. They can also be dangerous, as was shown in a fatal crash on 51st Avenue near Interstate 10 in late June. It was early afternoon when a van with six people was hit by another vehicle exiting the freeway. The accident was fatal for the front-seat passenger of the van, and the driver sustained serious injuries.
Drivers should also be particularly cautious when driving on Bell Road, Indian School Road, and the intersection at Dunlap Avenue and 35th Avenue. This intersection sees about 70,500 vehicles every single weekday, which makes traffic accidents much more likely. In fact, about 130 accidents occur at this intersection every single year! The intersection at 19th Avenue and Northern Avenue is also particularly dangerous, as it serves as an artery to shopping centers, condos, and Rio Salado College.
What Should You Do After an Accident in Phoenix?
It’s clear that the roads and intersections in Phoenix can contribute to a number of accidents all year round. When someone finds himself in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident and suffering serious injuries, he needs the help of an attorney. In most crashes, someone is to blame. A driver may have been traveling too fast, or driving while distracted, and that carelessness can cause great injury to someone else. In addition to the pain and suffering that can be sustained after such an accident, it can also be very expensive to the accident victim.
A Phoenix car accident lawyer can help accident victims claim compensation for their injuries from the at-fault individual’s insurance company. At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we guide accident victims through the entire legal process and fight for their rights, so those injured can focus on their recovery. For a free consultation with The Husband and Wife Law Team at our Ray Road office, please call (602) 267-1280 today.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer