Beginning of autumn brings new driving hazards

There are numerous factors in the fall that can contribute to accidents, including weather and increased school traffic.

Every season has its own risks when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, especially in northern states like Michigan where snow and ice come early. Summer's heavier traffic may be just about over, but weather-related conditions will soon replace those hazards. This fall and winter, Michigan drivers will need to be aware of the risks they face from weather and other drivers.

The United States Federal Highway Administration reports that almost 1,312,000 car accidents every year are due to adverse weather conditions. This comprises 23 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. About 480,000 people are injured and 6,250 people are killed across the country each year in accidents caused by weather conditions.

What are the driving dangers associated with fall?

Before winter takes hold, numerous factors related to fall can result in conditions that are just as deadly as snow and ice. According to Esurance, many of the autumn driving hazards include the following:

  • Roads that are slippery due to frost in the morning or fallen leaves that are wet or muddy
  • Foggy conditions contributing to reduced visibility and headlight glare
  • Sun glare, especially in the early morning
  • Heavy traffic in the mornings and afternoons before and after school
  • Deer migration patterns resulting in more animals wandering onto the roads

It may seem odd, but drivers admiring autumn foliage may also cause accidents. It is not uncommon for some who appreciate the changing leaves to slow down or stop in the road to look at the scenery.

The causes surrounding a recent accident involving a pickup and a semi-truck in Otsego County were unknown, but may illustrate how quickly people can be killed in accidents due to any factor. According to 9&10 News, the accident occurred at 8:30 in the morning, and the pickup driver was killed. Law enforcement continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

Defensive driving in fall weather

There is a great deal that drivers can do to reduce their chances of getting into a weather-related accident. In rain or frost, drivers should reduce their speed and give other vehicles a longer following distance. Reduced speed is also essential for foggy conditions, and bright headlights should never be used in fog, which may increase glare. Additionally, drivers should always watch for children walking or riding their bikes to school.

Despite precautions, other drivers who are less careful may cause an accident that cannot be avoided. If this is the case, those who are injured by be eligible for compensation. If a negligent or careless driver caused an accident that resulted in your injuries, you may wish to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.