Be aware of these typical autumn driving hazards to stay safe and avoid car accidents.
To many, the fall seems like a relatively safe time of year on the road. The winter months have a terrible reputation for being the most dangerous for drivers; however, the fall also contributes its fair share of risks. Identifying common fall-related hazards on the road and knowing how to navigate them can help keep you and others safe and avoid car accidents.
The fall is a season where the weather can be highly unpredictable. Warm weather, rain, fog, frost, and sometimes snow can seemingly pop up in the forecast overnight. Heavy rainfall and frost can make the roads slippery, and fog can reduce visibility, increasing the risk of car accidents. With unpredictable weather, it’s always important to check the forecast before you head out to prepare yourself for road conditions.
Sun glare while driving can cause temporary blindness and make it extremely difficult to see other vehicles, signs, and traffic lights. Many people don’t know that it’s actually worse during the autumn and winter because the sun is lower in the sky. To prevent car accidents caused by sun glare, keep your windows clean (tinted windows also help reduce glare). Wear polarizing sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Large animals and other wildlife wandering onto the road can always pose a threat to drivers, especially at nighttime. The fall is mating season for deer, meaning there’s significantly more of them to watch out for. Deer become temporarily blinded by headlights and will likely stand entirely still in the middle of the road if you catch one of them in your lights. Swerving to avoid deer can cause car accidents that result in significant damages and devastating injuries. Stay as vigilant as possible when driving at night – more so when driving through or close to wooded areas. There are typically signs posted along roads known for deer sightings; when you see the signs, reduce your speed and keep your high beams on (if safe to do so) to see more of your surroundings.
While the leaves that fall from the trees in the autumn are beautiful to look at, they can also be quite dangerous when on the roads. Wet leaves can make roads extremely slippery, and piles of leaves can cover potholes, curbs, and other obstructions on the road. October and November are the months when the bulk of leaves fall to the ground, so keep your eyes on the road and drive cautiously.
Back to school season is during the fall, meaning that traffic trends will change significantly in the mornings and evenings. Heavy traffic can cause longer commute times, and there’ll be more cars on the road during those peak hours. Give yourself enough time for your commute and plan accordingly to prevent any car accidents during rush hours.
Drive defensively in the fall to prevent car accidents
It’s always important to drive defensively in the fall and winter months. Even if you do everything right and drive as safely as possible, you can’t always say the same for other drivers. Give yourself adequate space between other cars, reduce your speed a bit more than usual, and keep your eyes on the road at all times. Taking these steps will help to prevent and reduce car accidents in the fall.