We love the fall season: football, pumpkin spice lattes, cooler weather, and, of course, the beautiful changing foliage. While there is much to appreciate about fall, the changing seasons can also bring about higher risk of accident on the roads. It’s important to stay vigilant as the seasons change, and keep close watch of your surroundings. First and foremost, being watchful can help keep you safe. But if you do get in an accident, you’ll be able to account for everything, including road conditions, helping you get the most out of your accident compensation claim. Here are a few hazardous conditions that come around in fall that you’ll want to look out for:
Falling Leaves: Although the changing leaves may seem like beautiful and innocuous, they can present an extra level of threat on the road. Once they are wet, they can become slippery and as dangerous as ice on the road, particularly if there are a lot of them. They can also blur traffic lines and other pavement markings, particularly if they are yellow. Enough leaves on the road can hide potholes and other hazards you would ordinarily avoid. Though they seem harmless, be sure to take full stock of the amount of fallen leaves on the road. Again, this will help keep you safe, and if you are still involved in a traffic accident, including details about the applicable road conditions will help you get the most out of accident compensation claims.
Additionally, if you’re passing through a particularly picturesque area (like the one pictured above), you may have to look out for people merely admiring the scenery. These drivers may not be paying close attention, requiring you to drive more defensively than usual. If you have some kind of collision because the scenery distracts another driver, that information should be included in any accident compensation claims.
Back-to-School Traffic: As fall comes around, school is back in session, which means more cars and buses on your daily commute. This tends to make “rush hour” last longer than the summer, and people aren’t always prepared for the change. Remember to give yourself extra time to make your commute, and watch out for people in a hurry, driving more aggressively to get where they’re going.
Sun Glare: As the days get shorter and daylight savings comes to an end, you’ll need to readjust your visor to avoid the glare of the sun. This becomes particularly true as it begins to rain, causing the sunlight to reflect harshly off of the pavement.
Frost and Fog: Temperatures get much cooler during fall nights, which causes morning frost. This becomes particularly dangerous on bridges and overpasses, which have more shaded areas. Cooler mornings can also lead to fog, which can be very scary to drive in as it drastically decreases visibility. When you’re driving through fog, make sure to put on your low beams. Your high beams reflect off the water in the fog, only decreasing visibility even further. These kinds of weather conditions, and how you responded to them, will need to be detailed in your accident compensation claims.
Deer: Fall is also deer season. If you live in a wooded area where deer are known to dart, try to keep an eye out, especially at night. But a large animal is an almost unpredictable accident that can be terrifying and cause major damage to your car. Fortunately, hitting an animal is almost always a covered loss in any accident compensation claims, even if you do not have collision insurance.
Although it seems counterintuitive, think twice before swerving to miss a large animal. Swerving can introduce you to more dangerous threats, such as telephone poles and other cars, which could also put other people in danger. Furthermore, if you damage your car while swerving to miss a deer, you would need collision insurance to cover those damages, and your rates could go up.