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Driving Tips for the Cold Fall Months

Published: Oct 26, 2020 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
autumn leaves

During fall, motorists face many hazards. Drivers need to remember how to drive safely during the cooler months of autumn. If a driver maintains safety, they can potentially prevent a serious car accident.

Should I Get My Vehicle Inspected for Autumn?

Fall is a terrific opportunity to have a car inspected by a processional auto technician, even if the car seems to be in good working order. The technician can make sure the headlights are aligned and working properly, as well as look for any warning issues. Auto dealerships and mechanics will be able to rotate tires, fill fluids, and conduct oil changes. Paying for maintenance when it is not absolutely necessary may seem like an indulgence, but it can save money down the road.

Car owners can even do some work themselves, such as buying and replacing windshield wiper blades, replacing air filters to enhance the efficiency of cooling and heating systems. Additionally, a first aid kit should be kept in the truck or back seat.

Be Aware of Dwindling Daylight Hours

When Daylight Saving Time ends, clocks go back one hour. This might not seem important, but it can make a huge difference for drivers. For instance, sun glare may become more prominent for morning or evening commuters. The best way to avoid sun glare is to plan for it by either choosing an alternative route or using sunglasses and visors proactively.

Shortened daytime hours can also lead to more motorists driving in the dark. When the sun goes down, the risk of getting into a car accident increases. According to statistics, 25 percent of accidents happen at night, and around half of crash fatalities occur during the evening hours. To stay safe at night, it is best to always be focused on the road and avoid distractions.

Watch Out for Children

Fall means children go back to school, and there are many outdoor activities. Even children who go to school online or attend in-person classes only part of the time may play outdoors, especially at dusk. Motorists need to watch out for children leaving school buses or even trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Very young children may also like to hide in leaf piles. Occasionally, neighborhoods will encourage homeowners to rake their unwanted leaves into the street. Therefore, drivers should be cautious about driving over or through piles of leaves on the side of the road where children could be trying to play or hide.

How can I Plan for a Foggy or Frosty Morning?

As temperatures start to change, the days may be warm, and the nights are fairly cool. This expected weather pattern can lead to unpleasant and possibly dangerous morning conditions in the form of heavy fog or overnight frost.

To mitigate these conditions, drivers may want to leave the house a few minutes early in the morning to give themselves enough time to get to their destinations. Properly defrosting car windows can take a while, and it is always better for the windows to be completely clear before driving.

Additionally, motorists should avoid using their high beams when driving on foggy roads, even if they are having trouble seeing very far. High beams cause the droplets of fog to reflect light, which can create a glare that affects a driver’s ability to safely navigate the pavement or see ahead.

Should I Check My Tires?

Tire pressure tends to drop up to two pounds every time the outside temperature plummets by 10 degrees. That means that a significant drop in temperature can cause a tire to be flat in the morning, which makes it harder for the tire to gain traction.

Although tire pressure usually will return as the temperature warms up, drivers should remain vigilant. If needed, tires may need air after a couple weeks of temperature fluctuations.

What Should I Do if I See a Deer?

Deer tend to become active in the fall and spring months. They are responsible for more than one million car accidents yearly, according to some reports. However, deer are often hard to see.

Motorists who live in areas with high concentrations of deer need to stay alert for them and other animals. Many times, a deer will jump into the road without warning. Most sources recommend that drivers try to avoid the deer if possible, but not to the detriment of their own vehicle or other motorists. After hitting a deer, a driver should call the police immediately and stay away from the animal.

Be Careful of Slick Surfaces

Slippery surfaces are common in the autumn months. Drenched leaves, downpours, sleet, or frost can cause streets and roads to be slick. When driving, a motorist should be patient and practical. A driver should assess the situation and slow down to accommodate for the changing road conditions. From that point, they should make sure they have enough distance between themselves and other vehicles. That way, if they slide, they can correct the situation without causing a traffic accident.

How can I Drive Defensively?

Driving defensively is a good reminder for any time of the year, not just autumn. What does it mean to drive defensively? Drivers should stay alert and avoid distractions, such as cellphones or eating while driving. Drivers should also pay attention to the way other motorists are driving and adjust accordingly. Additionally, drivers need to follow the rules of the road.

If a car accident does happen, an injured motorist should speak to a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim.

Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Crash Victims Recover Fair Compensation for Injuries

It is important that drivers be extra careful during the fall months. If you were hurt in an accident, one of our Edwardsville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can assist you. Call us at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.