Autumn. Time for kids to go back to school, for football games, for brisk weather, and sometimes for freezing rain. As the roads get busier and temperatures drop, drivers are at risk of being involved in serious car accidents. Here are five tips to prevent autumn car accidents.
1. Stay Alert
Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas cause increased travel across the country, filling up the roads and making traffic busier. One of the best ways to avoid autumn car accidents in increased traffic flow is to remain focused on the road. Common distractions like navigation, weather conditions, and other passengers can distract drivers from driving, so it’s important to remain focused while behind the wheel.
Staying alert includes avoiding behaviors that decrease your awareness. Sleep deprivation and phone use while driving can be dangerous and cause serious automobile accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can also be hazardous, impairing a driver’s judgment and blurring their vision. To remain alert and focused while driving, avoid drug and alcohol use, and be sure you’re well-rested.
2. Check for Weather Conditions
As the seasons change, the weather conditions can shift, as well. Colder temperatures and frequent precipitation can be hazardous to drivers unprepared for such conditions. You can stay ahead of these weather changes in several ways and ensure safe travel this autumn.
One of the most important steps to take is to check for proper windshield wiper function. Your windshield wipers are key to visibility in heavy precipitation and should have the appropriate blades attached. If you live in an area with frequent snowfall, you’ll want to be sure your vehicle is equipped with snow chains and a windshield scraper. Ensure your windshield washer fluid is topped up with the correct fluids for winter. These simple steps can prove helpful as you prepare your vehicle for the dropping temperatures and changing weather conditions this autumn.
3. Check Your Tires
As autumn begins, temperatures drop, causing tire pressure changes. When left unchecked, a tire with improper pressure is more vulnerable to wear and tear, leaving motorists to deal with flats and blowouts. The best way to check for proper tire pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge to ensure each tire’s psi (pounds per square inch) matches the recommended amount listed in the driver’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s side door.
Maintaining proper tire pressure protects your vehicle from unnecessary wear and tear and can lead to better gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure can significantly increase your vehicle’s overall capacity and make for safer and more efficient travels this autumn as the weather gets colder.
4. Be Aware of the Hours of Sunlight
With the approach of autumn comes the end of Daylight Saving Time, when daylight hours are shorter and the sun sets earlier. Because of this, the roads become darker at an earlier time, which can pose a potentially hazardous situation for those who struggle to see at night. You can take several steps to ensure you are prepared for the change in sunlight hours.
The best way to ensure you are prepared to drive at night is to be sure you have addressed any vision impairments you may have. This can include visiting an optometrist and wearing prescription or contact lenses. Another important thing you can do when ensuring you’re prepared for night driving is check your headlights. Ensure your regular lights and brights are fully operational for safer night driving. By taking these easy steps, you can be prepared for the changing sunset times as autumn begins.
5. Look Out for Crossing Animals
The changing of the seasons can also bring out local wildlife. Though these animals rarely pose a threat, colliding with a crossing animal can be dangerous for all parties involved. Animals are often present in areas that are more heavily wooded and may include deer, birds, cats, foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and other wildlife, depending on your location. Call roadside assistance and animal services if you should have a collision with an animal.
Need Help? Call Hach & Rose, LLP
If you or someone you love has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you’re familiar with the difficulty of dealing with such a situation. The New York car accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are well-equipped to help you as you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled for any damages and/or injuries sustained in an accident that wasn’t your fault.