There are many reasons to be extra careful when driving during the autumn months. It may seem like fall is a non-threatening lead-in to the dangers of winter. However, drivers have lots to be concerned about when it comes to road dangers in fall, especially getting into a car accident.
What are the Dangers that Threaten Driving Safety during Autumn?
There are several season-related dangers are often responsible for accidents on autumn roads. Some of these are as follows:
Fallen leaves. The feature of autumn that is most associated with the season is the leaves. Beautiful as they can be, they present a few particular dangers to drivers. They can cause the roads to be slippery, which can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Leaves on the road can also cover road markings that help drivers keep safe. They also may cover up hazards such as potholes that could damage your car or cause you to lose control of it. Drivers should recognize the dangers of driving over or through a pile of leaves because there might be something, or someone, hiding underneath.
Road conditions. Besides just leaves, the safety of the roads can be affected by temperatures and other weather events. In many areas, temperatures can fluctuate in fall. Cooler mornings might even involve frosty roads or invisible patches of black ice. Be aware of the possibility of still-frozen patches of ice in the shadows, even if other sections of the road are sunny and dry. Remember also that bridges and overpasses are more prone to freezing than other road surfaces.
Fog. Temperatures and moisture in fall can create fog, especially early in the morning. Drivers should proceed with caution in foggy conditions. If you must drive in fog, set your headlights on low beams, which shines the light onto the road’s surface instead of causing the light to refract in the fog’s tiny water droplets. You should also keep your distance from other vehicles, since visibility issues limit reaction time.
Sun glare. Another visibility issue drivers face in the fall has to do with sun glare. You might want to keep a pair of sunglasses handy for driving during dawn and dusk when the sun’s angle can make it difficult to see ahead of you as you drive.
Darkness. As the days get shorter, darkness falls sooner. Commutes can be affected by the seasonal shortening of the sun’s daily schedule. In addition, starting in early November, the change in time also factors into the equation. The return to standard time may allow commuters leaving the house before dawn to see the sunlight earlier in their regular drive, but motorists who are used to getting home before the sun goes down may still be driving after the sun disappears for the day.
Tire pressure. As the temperatures get colder, a car’s tire pressure can be affected. Fall is a good time to check the air pressure in your tires. The ideal pressure for your vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual for your car or on a sticker affixed by the manufacturer to a panel inside of the driver-side door.
Back-to-school issues. As students return to the classroom, traffic around schools and in residential neighborhoods picks up. School buses and parents dropping their children off add to traffic congestion. Drivers must make accommodations during the adjustment period that comes with the season. Most importantly, drivers must acknowledge the presence of school children who may put themselves in danger while the crossing street.
Animals in the road. Animals are another set of road crossers that can spell danger for drivers. Deer are known for causing havoc on autumn roads. November is especially dangerous, since deer are out and about for their mating season. Deer are most likely to be seen at dawn and dusk. Keep an eye out for deer in wooded areas, especially wherever you see deer crossing signs along the roadway.
Driving Behaviors to Reduce Dangers in Autumn
Staying safe on autumn roads is a matter of adhering to driving safety rules that help to keep people safe at all times of the year. Still, there are a few good driving habits that specifically address the dangers discussed above:
Follow speed limits. Reduce your speed when faced with a road covered by wet or slippery leaves, especially when turning, as they are likely to affect traction between your tires and the road.
Avoid tailgating. For all the visibility and traction issues mentioned, you must allow yourself as much reaction time as possible.
Mind crosswalks. As everyone returns to the school year routine, drivers must be diligent about checking for pedestrians and allowing the right of way to keep everyone safe.
Keep your eyes on the road. When amorous animals and inattentive children fill the roads, drivers should maintain all focus on avoiding possible danger. This is no time for distracted driving.
Drive defensively. Although these suggestions can be helpful as you venture out onto the roads this autumn, you should keep in mind that other drivers may be less aware of the dangers. Consider that other drivers may disregard speed limits and other safe driving rules, which is why it is that much more crucial that you keep safety as your focus while you are behind the wheel.
Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Represent People Hurt on Dangerous Autumn Roads
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in autumn that left you severely injured, you may be able to collect significant compensation for your injury. The Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova will be able to assess your case and tell you if your claim is valid and if you are likely to recover sizable damages for the injuries you suffered in the accident. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County and Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.