The gradual change from Summer to Fall brings many new variables that require adaptation for drivers. According to the United States Department of Transportation, Fall is the most deadly season for pedestrian fatalities in car accidents. Many factors contribute, but it is important to be aware of these for seasonal influences.
Athletes Practice Running Around Town
Fall means sports throughout most of the United States and athletes often hit the road for early morning or late afternoon running. When sidewalks are not an option, runners may use the neighborhood streets. Watch for runners in groups or alone and always slow down when passing them.
Days Are Getting Shorter
The sun rises a little later each morning and sets a little earlier each evening. Dawn and dusk are prime times for car accidents year-round, but the changing daylight hours can make the situation worse. Drivers who may previously have been returning home from work with the sun high may now find themselves driving with the sun in their eyes. Turn on headlights when necessary and watch for pedestrians and other drivers more attentively.
Consider Dampness a Threat
We think of big puddles as dangerous, and they are, because the front wheels can float, called hydroplaning, and you lose steering. But even before the puddles accumulate, rain — especially if it’s the first in a while — can pool on the oil, grime and dust that are on all roads and make the pavement slick. It also can mix with fallen leaves that are abundant in the fall and create a slippery surface. Slowing your speed helps, and, if you’re on a busy road, you can drive in the tracks of the cars ahead of you, where the road is driest.
School Zone Speed Limits
Speed limits are lowered in a designated school zone during drop off hours (about 7:00-9:00 a.m.) and pick up times (roughly 2-4 p.m.) The speed limit may be reduced by about ten miles per hour or more in these areas and police officers strongly enforce this measure. If you pass through a school area or neighborhood with many children, be aware.
Tend your tires
If they have sufficient tread, they perform better on rainy surfaces, and they stop faster and steer better on dry ones. Also, proper tire pressure helps keep you rolling smoothly and safely. When the weather cools as fall heads toward winter, tires typically lose pressure and can cause your car to handle poorly. If the tires are extremely low, that can contribute to a blowout. Correct pressure will be noted on a decal pasted on the driver’s side door jamb or the door itself. The pressure that’s noted on the tire itself is the maximum for that tire, and that could be wrong for your car.
New Teen Drivers are on the Roads
Although a teen may get his or her license and begin to drive any time of year, the back to school season of fall often puts them on the road more often. Additionally, many schools now offer a drivers’ education course.
Animals Change Habits in Fall
Animals are preparing for the oncoming winter season. Nocturnal creatures may be active in early dawn or dusk. Deer are also increasingly active at this time of year due to mating and hunting season, typically occurring between 5 pm and 7 am. About 1 of every 100 drivers will hit a deer during the driver’s life behind the wheel, says animal-rights group PETA.
Cope with Glare
The blinding distraction of sun glare waxes as summer wanes. Sounds wrong, but it’s logical, because the sun moves closer to the horizon — which keeps it pointed straight into your eyes, and makes it more likely to reflect at low angles off other cars, buildings and windows. Have your sunglasses handy. Don’t look directly into the lights of oncoming traffic when you drive at night. And keep your windshield clear so dirt streaks don’t contribute to the glare.
If you were involved in a Fall car accident, let us help! Get car accident help today! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you.
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