Ready or not, chilly temperatures and fall precipitation are rolling in. Set yourself up for safe autumn driving by making sure your vehicle is ready, knowing the risks of the season, and being prepared for precipitation.
The auto accident lawyers at Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers hope you take advantage of the tips that follow. We also understand that even responsible, prudent drivers can be involved in motor vehicle accidents. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact us to find out if you are entitled to compensation.
The first step to safe fall driving is to assess your vehicle. Traction and visibility are particularly important to fall conditions, so make sure to check:
- Tire tread and pressure – Good tires with proper tire pressure are crucial to maintaining control of your vehicle this season. Make sure you have season-appropriate tires and that the tread isn’t too worn.Cooler temperatures can cause your tires to lose pressure, which can interfere with your ability to steer. Visually check your tires every day, and check your tire pressure when temperatures dip. Also, talk to your mechanic about regularly rotating your tires and checking the alignment to ensure that you have optimal traction.
- Windshield and wipers – A clean windshield and effective windshield wipers are supremely important to safe driving in the fall. Seasonal sun glare turns smudges and dust into distracting and hazardous interruptions in visibility.Safe driving in rain or snow requires that your wipers are working optimally as well. Test your wipers for functionality, and replace wipers that chatter, smear, or leave streaks.
Between cooler temperatures, precipitation, and trees shedding leaves, fall road conditions can be hazardous. Take special care when you encounter:
- Leaves – Falling leaves set a beautiful autumn scene, but they can also cause ugly accidents. Wet foliage on the road can be slippery, which means you need to be cautious when braking. Leaves can also cover road markings like lane lines.
- Bridges – Shaded areas on bridges and overpasses can quickly develop ice patches that aren’t easy to see. Slower speeds are key to maintaining control.
Precipitation can cause visibility issues and reduce your ability to slow or steer your vehicle. Even if you are a capable driver in rainy and snowy conditions, remember to drive defensively, as many people aren’t aware of how rain and snow can affect their driving.
- Rain – When water causes you to lose traction by lifting your tires off the road, you are hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can be caused by water accumulation on the road or as a result of oil residue on the road surface mixing with water and creating a slippery film.
- Snow and ice – Snow and ice can cover road markings and interfere with your ability to steer and brake. Gradual acceleration and deceleration are important to maintaining control of your vehicle.
Whether it is raining or snowing, you can avoid accidents by keeping a greater following distance, driving slower, using your low beams or fog lights, and limiting travel during severe weather.
In addition to precipitation, other fall conditions can affect your ability to see the road, other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If your visibility becomes compromised, do your best to get to a safe place until conditions improve.
- Fog – Slower speeds and using your low beam lights can help you safely navigate fog in many cases. If you are unable to see at all, turn on your hazard lights and pull over until the fog dissipates. Find more tips about driving in foggy conditions here.
- Sun glare – Driving on east-west roadways during fall can be dangerous, as the sun is in perfect position to create an intense glare around sunrise and sunset. Sunglasses, slower speeds, and a clean windshield can go a long way to mitigating sun glare.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
Even if you are an expert driver in all seasons, it’s important to remember that you’re sharing the road with inexperienced, distracted, and reckless drivers. If you are injured in an auto accident this fall, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call 905-522-9799 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident lawyers. We serve Brantford, Burlington, Hamilton, and the nearby areas of Ontario.