How to Prevent Autumn Car Accidents
The autumn season poses a range of hazards for drivers not present during summer. These conditions can be dangerous and require extra caution from motorists. Some of the most common hazards include wet leaves on the road, reduced visibility due to fog or rain, and an increased likelihood of deer crossing the road. Additionally, shorter days mean less daylight and darker commutes, making it important for drivers to ensure their headlights are working correctly and to watch out for pedestrians who may be difficult to see during October.
While winter weather conditions in cold climates often receive the most attention for being dangerous, fall can pose unique challenges. As summer transitions to autumn, several factors increase the risk of car crashes. One major factor is the change in daylight hours, which can affect visibility and make it harder to see hazards on the road.
Falling leaves and rain showers can create slippery road surfaces that increase stopping distances. Drivers should exercise caution during this season and remember to adjust their driving habits accordingly, including having a pair of sunglasses available to combat sun glare.
You might know traffic laws and follow them explicitly. However, avoiding potentially dangerous situations is often difficult if you don’t know about them. If you encounter hidden hazards, you could end up in an accident and suffer severe injuries.
It’s necessary to take the appropriate precautions to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Follow the tips below to prevent an autumn car accident.
Perform Routine Maintenance on Your Car
Regular maintenance is essential for the upkeep of any vehicle. Neglecting to bring your car in for routine oil changes, tire rotations, or inspections could result in potential problems going unnoticed and causing significant damage.
In the worst-case scenario, a malfunctioning part or system could lead to loss of control and a collision with another driver, pedestrian, or stationary object like a telephone pole. Regular maintenance can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems and keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
It is also important to regularly check for recalls on your vehicle through organizations like NHTSA to ensure your car is up to date on any potential safety concerns.
Besides preventing accidents, regular maintenance also contributes to the longevity of your vehicle. By keeping up with routine checks and services, you can extend the lifespan of your car and save money on costly repairs in the long run. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and have your vehicle serviced by a qualified mechanic who uses quality parts and materials from an auto parts store.
Some routine maintenance tasks that should not be neglected include changing your engine oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, rotating your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles, replacing spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer (usually between 30,000-100,000 miles), checking brake pads for wear and tear regularly, and inspecting belts and hoses for signs of damage or wear.
By staying on top of these tasks and promptly addressing any issues when they arise, you can ensure that your car remains reliable and safe to drive for years.
Schedule an appointment with a mechanic or dealership. They can top off your fluids, put more air in your tires, and check for faulty parts or defects. If there’s damage to your vehicle, they can repair it immediately. They can also replace a part recalled by the manufacturer.
Reduce Your Speed in Dangerous Conditions
Temperatures stay mild in Kentucky during the fall. Typically, you don’t see snow or ice until the winter months. However, you can still face dangerous conditions.
During heavy rain or thunderstorms, motorists face various hazards. The roads become slippery, increasing the risk of skidding and crashing into other vehicles or ditches.
Flooding can cause hydroplaning, and visibility issues may arise due to downpours. To stay safe, drivers should drive slower, maintain distance from other vehicles, correctly use headlights and windshield wipers, and avoid sudden braking or acceleration. These precautions can prevent accidents and ensure a safe journey.
Leaves can fall to the ground when the seasons change, covering up defects in the road. A pile of leaves can hide a pothole, tree branch, and other debris, reducing traction. If you’re driving too fast and running over these hazards, you could get a flat tire, swerve into an occupied lane, or oncoming traffic.
Stay Alert Near Other Cars
As autumn approaches, roads tend to become more congested for various reasons. With individuals returning from summer vacations and children starting the new school year, there is an increase in traffic on the roads.
Unfortunately, with more vehicles on the road, the likelihood of accidents increases, with distracted driving being the number one cause of car accidents.
Drivers must remain vigilant during this time of year and follow all traffic rules and regulations to ensure road safety. Additionally, carpooling or using public transportation can help decrease congestion and minimize the risk of accidents.
Commuting each day means you can cross paths with an inattentive or distracted motorist. Although you can take precautions to remain safe, you can do nothing to prevent others from behaving recklessly at the wheel.
It would be best if you always focused on your surroundings, even driving only a few miles from home. If you encounter a speeding driver, get out of their way and try to maintain some distance from them.
If you see someone drifting towards your lane, merge into a different lane or slow down to avoid an accident. Additionally, staying alert near other cars is important, no matter the time of the year.
Proceed with Caution Near Schools
School is already back in session when fall comes around. You will likely encounter more buses on the roads if you drive anywhere in the morning or afternoon. Instead of taking the bus, some kids walk, which means you’ll see increased pedestrian traffic.
Thoroughly check for children crossing the street at every crosswalk. You should always slow down and proceed with caution. If you’re not paying attention, you may not see a kid already in the middle of the street.
Traffic laws require every motorist to reduce their speed when approaching a school zone during specific times of the day. If you see flashing lights, slow down and observe the area for children. If you speed through the school zone and lose control of your car, you could crash into a child pedestrian on the sidewalk, resulting in an auto accident.
Nighttime Driving is Safer with Headlights
Turn on your headlights whenever you drive at night. The end of Daylight Saving Time means it gets dark earlier in the day. Your lights can help you see pedestrians, other vehicles, and hazards on the road.
If your headlights stay off, you won’t be able to see what’s happening around you. Additionally, other drivers won’t see your car.
How can you avoid distractions while driving during autumn?
To avoid distractions while driving during autumn, staying focused on the road and eliminating potential distractions is important. This can include putting your phone away, avoiding eating or drinking while driving, and keeping your attention on the road ahead.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney from Sampson Law Firm
Since 1997, our legal team has represented accident victims needing guidance and support during difficult times. We understand how traumatic it can be to suffer injuries because another person chose to drive recklessly. You can depend on us to fight by your side until the end and seek the compensation you deserve.