The summer months are a time when most people enjoy being on summer break from school and planning vacations from work to relax with friends or family members.
But did you know that warmer temperatures could bring a spike in certain kinds of criminal activity? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), there are specific crimes that see an increase over the summer.
Stay safe this summer by learning which types of summer crimes to keep an eye on, and by taking steps to protect yourself and your property when the weather gets warm.
The BJS states that home burglary rates are 11 percent lower in the winter compared to the summer.
There are a couple of reasons why burglaries increase over the summer. First, many people use their children’s summer school break to go on vacation, leaving their homes unoccupied for a week or more at a time.
These days, a lot of people even share their vacation photos on social media. Or they might even announce in advance when they will be out of town. If you’re guilty of this, experts say you’re openly advertising to anyone who cares to take notice of when you will be away from your property.
You may not realize that the photos you post on social media include a timestamp, which lets would-be thieves know when you’re not at home, making your home vulnerable. This can give burglars an opportunity to break in without worrying about anyone being at the property.
No one wants to come home to the nasty surprise of discovering their house has been burglarized. You can protect yourself by avoiding discussing your vacation plans online and by being extremely careful and selective about any vacation photos you post online. Consider waiting until you return home from your trip before sharing any details about your travels.
DWIs and Distracted Driving
Many people enjoy gathering with friends and family while the weather is warm. Whether it’s a pool party or backyard barbeque, it’s common for people to enjoy a few alcoholic drinks when they have a get-together or cookout.
Similarly, teens are out of school over the summer and usually driving to meet up with friends or interviewing to find a job. This means more young drivers on the road.
Alcohol is a bigger problem on the roads in the summer along with distracted driving. People are more likely to be traveling when the weather is warm, and more people on the highway means an increase in intoxicated and distracted drivers. This makes the roads less safe for everyone, including motorists who don’t drink or drive distracted.
Unfortunately, the summer can also mean an increase in intoxicated drivers on the road. In fact, drunk driving and distracted driving crashes happen so often in warm weather, that safety experts now frequently refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadly days of summer” for driving.
Not only can drinking and driving end up seriously injuring someone or causing a fatal accident, but it can also mean being arrested and charged with drunk driving. For young people having a drunk driving conviction on their record can stop any future career right in its tracks.
For example, if you’re a young person who dreams of getting into a teaching career, a DWI on your record will make it extremely difficult to get hired by a school or other employer that works with children.
The BJS states that various domestic violence crimes occur more frequently in the summer. Intimate partner violence is more likely to happen when the weather is warm. Likewise, aggravated assaults occur more often in the summer months.
Overall, violent assaults are six percent lower in the winter compared to the summer. This could be because people are more likely to spend time together over summer vacations. Additionally, the days are longer, which means people are generally awake and active for longer periods of time during the summer compared to the winter months when daylight hours are shorter in duration.
According to the BJS, sexual assaults happen more often in the summer compared to every other season. On average, rates of sexual assault are nine percent lower in the winter compared to summer, and 10 percent lower in the fall, which could be due to a variety of factors.
For example, people tend to use alcohol more frequently in the summer, which could cause an aggressor to be more inclined to engage in an assault. Additionally, people also spend more time doing outdoor activities when the weather is warm as opposed to cold.
When temperatures are cold, people are more likely to avoid walking or bicycling to their destination and they may opt to drive or take public transportation instead. In the summer, however, people are more likely to walk or bicycle, whether for recreational purposes or just to enjoy the pleasant weather while they commute.
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Texas who will defend your rights and protect your future.