As the seasons transition from the warmth of summer to the crispness of autumn, the road conditions change, presenting new challenges for drivers. Fall, while scenic with its vibrant foliage, also brings about a set of unique hazards that can lead to motor vehicle accidents. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common causes of fall-based car accidents, why they happen, and what you can do to stay safe on the road during this season.
• Slippery Roads and Leaf-Covered Surfaces:
One of the most prevalent causes of accidents in the fall is slippery roads. As the leaves start to fall, they create a slick and treacherous surface on roadways. To reduce the risk of accidents, exercise caution when driving on leaf-covered roads. Slow down, avoid sudden braking, and if your car begins to skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid to regain control.
• Decreased Visibility:
With the days getting shorter, decreased visibility becomes a significant concern. To counter this issue, always use your headlights when driving, even during daylight hours. Additionally, exercise extra caution in areas with low visibility, such as foggy conditions. Fog can drastically reduce your ability to see, so ensure your low-beam headlights are on and avoid distractions.
• Driving Under the Influence:
The fall season brings holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, which can lead to an increased incidence of impaired driving. Driving under the influence reduces reaction times and poses a significant risk to everyone on the road. It can also result in costly fines and legal consequences. Always designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation if you’ve been drinking.
• Motorcycle Accidents:
As fall enthusiasts try to enjoy the last days of riding, motorcycle accidents become more common. Other drivers may not be as vigilant in watching for motorcycles on the road, and inclement weather can affect a motorcyclist’s ability to ride safely. Both drivers and motorcyclists should exercise extra caution during this season.
• Distracted Driving:
The allure of fall foliage and the hustle and bustle of back-to-school activities can lead to distracted driving. Drivers may be tempted to reach for their smartphones or become preoccupied with the picturesque surroundings. Stay focused on the road, avoid distractions, and prioritize safety.
• Heavy Traffic:
Back-to-school season increases traffic during the fall, especially during morning and evening rush hours. Expect longer commute times and a higher volume of cars on the road during these peak hours. Plan accordingly – leave early and practice patience to prevent accidents in heavy traffic.
• Deer Season:
Deer-related accidents are a significant concern during the fall, particularly in wooded or unfamiliar areas. When encountering deer on the road, remember that they can be temporarily blinded by your vehicle’s headlights. Slow down and exercise caution to avoid collisions, which can be costly in terms of both damage and potential bodily injuries.
With an estimated 1.5 million deer-involved accidents occurring annually, drivers must exercise a great deal of caution, especially when traversing wooded or unfamiliar terrain.
In Fairfax County, VA, a substantial 4,000 to 5,000 collisions between vehicles and deer take place each year, and an astounding 55% of these incidents unfold during the months spanning October to December.
Data from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Unit reveals that animal-related accidents, predominantly involving deer, account for approximately 7% of all vehicle crashes in the state.
In the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, Wake County endured the highest number of such collisions, totaling a remarkable 2,575 incidents.
Meanwhile, South Carolina witnessed a staggering 134% surge in deer-related car accidents in 2021, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, with collisions escalating from 2,736 in 2020 to a striking 6,409 in 2021, with a predominant concentration in the Upstate region.
It’s noteworthy that State Farm ranks South Carolina drivers as the 9th most likely to encounter a deer-related collision, underscoring the importance of heightened caution in these areas.
Fall is a beautiful season filled with vibrant colors and crisp air, but it also brings specific challenges on the road. Stay alert, drive cautiously, and prioritize safety to ensure your fall journeys are smooth and accident-free.
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