What to Look Out For and How To Protect Yourself

The Changing of Seasons

The Changing of Hazards

As the leaves start to change color and fall to the ground, so does our attention to driving. School is back in session, football season is in full swing, and the holidays are just around the corner. With so much going on, it’s easy to let our guard down when behind the wheel. But there are certain hazards that come along with the autumn season that we need to be aware of. From wet leaves to decreased visibility, there are a number of potential dangers waiting around the corner. While we don’t advise going around assuming the worst, it’s important that we remain vigilant and aware of our surroundings at all times. This is especially true when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

To help drivers stay safe this season, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common autumn driving hazards. By keeping these in mind, you can help keep yourself and those around you safe on the road. So before you head out on your next road trip, be sure to read through our advice on how to drive safely this fall.

About Vehicle Hazards in the Fall

A Few Things to Look Out For

Fall is a beautiful time of year. It’s also a time when drivers need to be aware of some additional hazards on the road. As personal injury attorneys in Raleigh, we’ve seen a number of accidents that could have been avoided had drivers been more aware of their surroundings. Let our experiences be a lesson to you, and help you stay safe this season. To that end, we’ve put together a list of some dangers that people may not be looking out for this fall but that could prove dangerous if you’re not careful.

Natural Hazards

Leaves are lovely to look at, but they can be hazardous for drivers. When leaves fall on the road, they can create a slippery surface that can cause tires to lose traction. This is especially dangerous on wet roads. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down and leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.

Fall is also hurricane season. While North Carolina isn’t in the direct path of most hurricanes, we often see heavy rains and high winds from storms that make their way up the coast. These weather conditions can create dangerous driving conditions, so it’s important to take them into account when planning your route. Allow extra time to reach your destination so you don’t have to hurry, and be sure to stay up-to-date on weather reports so you know what to expect before heading out.

Animal Hazards

Another hazard specific to fall is wildlife. As animals prepare for winter, they become more active and are more likely to be on the move. This means there’s an increased risk of hitting an animal while driving. Be especially cautious at dawn and dusk, when animals are most active. If you see an animal on the road, brake slowly and give it time to move out of the way.

Another good tip is to be especially cautious at dawn and dusk when visibility is low and animals are most active. If you can, avoid driving during these times if possible. But if you must be on the road, slow down and be prepared to brake at a moment’s notice.

If you’re driving in an area with lots of trees or brush, keep your eyes peeled for animals that might be lurking just off the road. Be particularly cautious when driving through wooded areas or around wetlands—these are hotspots for animal crossings.

Fall is also the migration season for many birds, which means they’ll be flying low in search of food. That makes them more likely to collide with vehicles, particularly during dawn and dusk when they’re most active. So if you’re driving at night or early in the morning this fall, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for birds.

Road Conditions and Traffic

Fall weather can also lead to dangerous road conditions. Wet leaves can make roads slick, and snow and ice can make them even more treacherous. Be cautious when driving on wet or icy roads, and take your time if you need to brake or turn. It’s also a good idea to give yourself extra space between you and the car in front of you, in case you need to stop suddenly.

As the weather gets colder, it’s important to take extra care when driving. Wet or icy conditions can make roads more treacherous, so be cautious and take your time if you need to brake or turn. It’s also a good idea to give yourself extra space between you and the car in front of you. The end of daylight saving time can also mean more traffic on the roads. Commuters may have to adjust to driving in the dark again, which can lead to tiredness and decreased concentration. Be aware of other drivers around you, and give yourself extra time to get to your destination if you know the roads will be busier than usual.

Tips for Staying Safe

Some Tips for Driving and Before You Hit The Road

While fall is a beautiful time of year, it also brings with it some challenges for drivers. In particular, the changing of seasons can have a significant impact on driving conditions. To help you stay safe on the roads this fall, we’ve put together a list of tips for driving in the autumn months. Check out some of our tips below:

Check Your Tires

One of the most important things you can do to stay safe while driving during the fall is to check your tires. Colder temperatures can cause tire pressure to drop, so it’s important to check your tires regularly and inflate them as needed to maintain their integrity and safety. You should also have your tires inspected by a professional at least once a year to ensure that they are in good condition. 

When looking over your tires, look out for any nails, sharp rocks,  or other objects that may have become lodged in the tread or sidewall. These can cause a tire to leak air or even burst, so it’s important to remove them as soon as possible. You should also check for any cracks, bulges, or other signs of damage that could indicate a problem. If you see any of these, take your car to a mechanic or tire professional to have them repaired or replaced.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the tread depth of your tires. Tires typically have tread wear indicators, which are raised bars located in the deepest part of the tread grooves. When these bars become level with the rest, also check the condition of your spare tire and make sure it is properly inflated.

Use Your Headlights

Another important safety tip for driving during the fall is to use your headlights. Shorter days and longer nights means that there will be less daylight, so it’s important to make sure that your headlights are in good working order. You should also consider upgrading to brighter bulbs if your current bulbs are not providing sufficient light.

Slow Down

As the weather gets colder and the roads get wetter, it’s important to slow down when driving. Slippery conditions can make it more difficult to control your vehicle, potentially leading to hydroplaning and losing control completely of your vehicle. It’s important, then, to give yourself plenty of time to stop. Remember, it takes longer to stop on wet roads than it does on dry roads.

Leave Plenty of Space

In addition to slowing down, it’s important to give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. This will give you more time to stop if necessary, and will also give you more time to react if the car ahead of you suddenly stops or makes a sudden maneuver.

Be Aware of Shorter Days

With the days getting shorter, you may find yourself driving in the dark more often. Make sure your headlights and taillights are in working order and that your windshield is clean. You may also want to consider investing in a set of fog lights to help you see better in low-visibility conditions.

Leave Early to Avoid Rush Hour

Autumn is a busy time of year as people try to squeeze in last-minute vacations before the cold weather sets in. This can lead to heavier than usual traffic levels, especially during rush hour. If you are working in an office and have the option to leave early, do so, or alternatively wait until after rush hour to avoid being caught in a traffic jam. Rush hour is a time where drivers are desperate to get home, and in inclement weather, that can lead to dangerous conditions.

Be Aware of Your Car’s Blind Spots

Fall is a good time of year to check your car’s blind spots. As the trees shed their leaves, it becomes easier for other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians to enter your blind spots without being seen. Take a few minutes every few weeks to clean off your side mirrors and check for blind spot activity before getting on the road.

Drive defensively

In general, it’s always important to drive defensively, but this is especially true during the fall. With the days getting shorter and the weather getting worse, visibility can be reduced and conditions can be more hazardous. Pay attention to other drivers around you and give yourself plenty of time to react if someone makes a mistake.

With these tips, your drives should be a little smoother this fall. We hope that you don’t need a personal injury attorney in Raleigh, but if you find yourself in a situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If you are injured in a vehicle accident, our team of expert attorneys are ready to defend you and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Injured in an Accident?

Our Team is Ready to Assist You

At Miller Law, our team of personal injury lawyers has decades of experience helping people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. No matter what type of accident you have been in, our team is ready and able to help you get the compensation that you need and deserve. Our personal injury attorneys in Raleigh are here and ready to help you should you ever need us. Simply contact our team and let us know about your case and situation, and we will help guide you through the rest.