September 27, 2021
What are Essential Fall Driving Safety Tips?
As the season changes, driving safety changes too. The long sunny days start to wind down, and weather conditions affect both morning and evening commutes. Every motorist should keep in mind the following fall driving safety tips.
Many people take trips to see fall foliage at its peak, but this amazing display of nature also brings hazards for drivers. As the leaves fall from the trees, they collect on the road and can cause slippery conditions. Leaves that may appear dry can be wet underneath, and a roadway covered with wet leaves can be as slippery as ice. In some communities, leaves are piled at the curb for collection, blocking lanes, drainage, and covering pavement markings.
Leaves also conceal roadway hazards, such as potholes, cracks, and other uneven surfaces. This is a problem for all motorists, but especially for motorcycle riders. A motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries because the rider can easily be thrown from the bike.
Finally, you might not think of distracted driving and leaves, but tourists and locals admiring foliage can be dangerous if they meander and are not focused on traffic. Rear-end car accidents can happen when a driver unexpectedly stops to take in the autumn sights.
Now that school is back in session, students will be everywhere, out walking, playing, riding bikes, and on school buses. Drivers need to be aware of the hours when school traffic is heaviest and pay attention accordingly. Most fatal accidents involving school children happen between 7:00 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If a school bus exhibits flashing lights and extends the stop arm, you must wait until the stop arm has been retracted before continuing to drive. Stay at least 10 feet away from a school bus, and never pass a stopped school bus as children could be crossing the road on the other side.
Children are unpredictable, and they may not always follow traffic rules. Therefore, pay special attention when driving through school zones and crosswalks. Young, inexperienced student drivers may also be on the road. They may forget to check their mirrors before pulling out or make unexpected maneuvers, so be prepared.
The amount of daylight is less every day as fall goes on, which affects your ability to recognize colors, perceive depth, and judge speed and distance. With fewer hours of daylight, drivers must be more vigilant about watching for children and pedestrians.
Sun glare can be a major safety issue in the fall, as both sunrise and sunset occur during the hours of heaviest commuting traffic. Keeping your windows and mirrors clean cuts down on glare, and drivers should always have a pair of sunglasses handy for better visibility.
Fall Weather Conditions
Cooler temperatures bring adverse conditions for driving, such as foggy or frosty mornings. Fog impairs visibility and requires drivers to slow down, something that commuters in a hurry may not be prepared to do. When overnight temperatures dip in the fall, the roads may be frosted over and slippery in the morning, increasing the risk of an accident.
Increased Wildlife Activity
Fall is mating season for deer, and they are more active, traveling greater distances, as they look and compete for mates. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the chance of hitting an animal is three and a half times higher in the month of November. The IIHS ranks Pennsylvania high for collision claims with animals. Deer like to feed primarily at night, and they are most active from dusk until sunrise.
Pay attention in areas marked as deer crossings, and slow down and drive more cautiously, especially in the evening hours. If you do see a deer, watch out because they often travel in small herds, and more animals may attempt to cross the road.
There are many preventative measures you can take to stay safe while driving in fall. Basic vehicle maintenance is important. This includes keeping headlights clean and adjusted and aligned for optimum visibility, replacing windshield wiper blades, and cleaning windows and mirrors. Check your tire pressure to ensure your vehicle is getting good traction on the road and the best mileage possible. Every car should have a safety kit stored in the trunk, and an extra pair of sunglasses in the glovebox.
Extra Time for Commuting
Leave plenty of time for your morning commute so that you will not feel pressured if you encounter a school bus or inclement weather. If conditions are poor, leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front and reduce your speed. When driving in fog, use low beams, not high beams because they can create glare and reduce visibility. Turn on your headlights at dusk so other drivers are aware of your vehicle.
Norristown Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Help Drivers Injured in Fall
For many people, fall is an enjoyable season. However, fall also brings many hazardous road conditions. If you were injured in a fall-related collision, speak with one of our Norristown accident attorneys at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. today. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call us at 267-861-7100 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown, Pennsylvania.