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Why Do Car Accidents Increase in the Fall?

Published: Sep 27, 2021 in Auto Accident
Car Accidents Fall

When summer starts to fade into the fall season, the weather gets cooler, the leaves change colors, and young people begin a new school year. It is a refreshing change, but lawyers experienced in personal injury cases find that there are more car accidents during the autumn months.

Reasons There are More Accidents in the Fall

One of the reasons why the accident figures rise during the fall is because the days get progressively shorter. You cannot see as well at night, and for many senior citizens, this problem is magnified.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 49 percent of fatal accidents take place at night. Since 75 percent of motor vehicle mileage is logged during the daytime, a disproportionate percentage of fatal accidents occur at night.

It is more dangerous to drive at night, and motorists should always stay vigilant. Make sure that your headlights are on and use your high beams when necessary on dark, unlit roads.

Inclement weather makes night driving even more dangerous, so you should be on high alert when visibility is less than ideal and the roads are slick.

How can You Drive Safely at Night?

Defensive driving is a key factor, and it is especially important when you are driving after dark. You should always be completely aware of your surroundings and anticipate any possible move that could be made by the motor vehicles that are in your line of vision.

If you are always prepared for any situation, you will be well positioned to avoid an accident when someone is overly aggressive or negligent.

You should avoid driving at night when you are drowsy; this is a mistake that is commonly made.

The Insurance Information Institute cites another NHTSA report that examined the causes of motor vehicle accidents. According to the report, in 2019, approximately 700 people died in accidents that involved drivers who were fatigued.

In 2017, there were 91,000 motor vehicle accidents that were attributed to drowsy drivers, and there were 50,000 injuries. These are some compelling statistics, so you should never get behind the wheel when you are tired.

When you are planning out your route, you would do well to avoid two-lane highways. They tend to be more poorly lit, and the glare from the headlights of oncoming cars can be blinding. These roads are often winding with sharp curves, and this is another consideration.

Since your visibility is reduced at night, your ability to react to circumstances is compromised to some extent. You should keep your speed down to compensate for the decrease in the reaction time.

Of course, we all have places to go and things to do, and your responsibilities do not go away when you are not fully rested. Fortunately, ride-sharing services are always just a phone call away.

Regarding visibility, is can be very difficult to react to an animal that darts onto the road in front of you. This is a potential scenario that you should keep in mind when you are driving on a dark road.

You should check your headlights periodically to make sure that they are fully functioning, and your windshield wipers should be replaced promptly when they show signs of wear.

What Should You Do Immediately after a Car Accident?

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, there are certain steps that you should take to get the help you need as you protect your interests from a legal perspective. The most important factor is your physical well-being, so you should gather yourself and check for injuries.

You should check on your passengers if you are in a condition to do so, and if immediate medical assistance is needed, call 911. If the car can be driven, it should be moved to a safe spot off the road if possible.

After the situation has been stabilized, you should call the police to respond to the scene even if there are no serious injuries. This is extremely important because the police report will be an important piece of evidence going forward.

While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you should exchange contact information with the other driver or drivers if you can. In addition to their name and phone number, you should get the name of their insurance company and their policy number if they are cooperative.

You should also record a description of their vehicle and their license plate number, and this can be accomplished if you simply take a picture of the car or truck with your phone.

If you can, you may want to take some shots of the surrounding area, and you can document the damage that has been done to the vehicles. If there are any witnesses, you should try to get their contact information because their testimony could be invaluable.

As soon as it is practical, you should contact a personal injury lawyer if you have sustained injuries. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve if you have a case.

St. Clair County Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can Help with Accidents in Any Season

Driving in fall can present many challenges to motorists. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the St. Clair County car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can represent your interests. We take our responsibility to our clients seriously, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.