As the warmer months come to a close and school resumes, many drivers relax on the defensive end of their driving habits. After all, fewer travelers mean less uptight drivers, right? Each season provides its own share of driving challenges, and fall doesn’t offer a reprieve. If anything, the wet season requires extra care and attention behind the wheel. While everyone’s concerned about Midwestern winter driving, federal data shows that rain’s far more deadly. In fact, rain is noted for causing more accidents than snow in 39 states, including Michigan. Compacted leaves, dense vegetation, striking scenery, and migrating wildlife don’t help matters. But fortunately, there are a few effective safety tips to prevent auto accidents in fall.
Adjust to the Weather
Fall weather can change from scorching to freezing in a matter of hours. If you’re stuck on the road, you could potentially be caught in a slew of driving risks. Preparation is the key here. Check weather apps prior to leaving and pack your car with necessary essentials. Allow extra time to get to your destination and avoid tailgating or following too close to other drivers. Compacted leaves are also a problem. Leaves stick together and create slick risks, conceal ice, and bunches of leaves can get stuck in tailpipes or lead to brush fires if cars park too close to them.
Tend to Those Tires
Over time, tires lose pressure and weeks of hot, summer time driving can cause tread to wear. That combination can make fall driving a real challenge. On top of that, fall temperature dips can cause tires to lose even more pressure since tire inflation generally drops 1-2 pounds for every 10-degree dip in weather. If you need to hold out a few weeks to change to winter tires, at least continuously check tire pressure and tread throughout the fall.
Watch for Kids and Critters
September becomes a serious risk for drivers as kids head back to school. Over 56 million primary and secondary students nationwide pour into schools and tend to run to their buses or cars without a glance towards what may be barreling towards them. Many of those students also walk to and from school, so darting out into the street and sudden appearances are to be expected. Deer mating season is between October and November, so there are many more near roadways during fall. And since they have phenomenal eyesight but are literally blinded by headlights, the average driver is 3.5 times more likely to hit one during the autumn months. Slow down, pay attention, and look for potential movement when driving in school districts or open highways.
Prepare for Glare and Darkness
The sun moves closer to the horizon in the fall, so light rays bounce off buildings and other structures. Always wear or keep sunglasses in the car. Avoid looking into car lights and keep your windshield clean at all times. Nightfall happens earlier in the fall with cities losing between 1 and 3 minutes of daylight daily during the fall months. And while only 25% of driving occurs at night, 50% of accidents occur during those hours. So stay awake, prepare for the trip, and opt for daylight driving when possible. But if you still need a competent Michigan personal injury attorney, give us a call and we’ll help you get back on the road.