The kids are back in school, and summer is behind us. There may be a little chill in the air, and people are getting ready for apple cider, sweaters, pumpkin pie and all the fun that this time of year brings. It is important to keep in mind that as the weather changes, so do our driving risks.
The truth is, a change in weather directly affects driving safety. This is particularly true between Fall and early Spring. Statistics report that in the U.S., there are approximately 5,748,000 car accidents per year. Out of these 1,259,000 are caused by weather conditions.
Any type of adverse weather condition can affect your normal driving. Conditions such as rain, fog, ice and snow can limit visibility as well as change the way your car will react.
Experts say that the common denominator in these accidents is that people drive too fast for the current road conditions they are experiencing. Some drivers don’t realize that the posted speed limit is only for optimal driving conditions. If the roads are wet or there is ice on the road, it is important to drive defensively and to reduce your speed accordingly. The law requires you to drive at a speed that is safe for the current driving conditions.
Being armed with this knowledge is important. Here are some additional safety tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed space.
- Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated.
- Don’t use cruise control when driving on wet or slippery roads.
- Before heading out, check current weather reports.
- Always drive with at least a half tank of gas.
- Be mindful of driving through fallen leaves, which can be as slippery as ice.
- Slow down over shady spots because black ice may be present.
- Watch for animals on the road. Some animals (such as deer), become more active in the fall.
- If you are driving in foggy conditions, use your low beam lights. High beams will reduce your vision.
- The first 10 minutes of rainfall is the most dangerous, due to accumulated oil on the road. Reduce your speed accordingly.
- Be aware that your stopping time will be longer on wet or slippery roads. Allow more time to come to a complete stop.
With the change of seasons, it’s always a good idea to get your car checked out thoroughly. Check your window wiper blades, brakes and tires. Make sure your headlights and signal lights are in proper working order as well. Have an emergency kit ready should you get stranded on the side of the road.
Should you suffer an accident due the negligence of another, please come and speak to us. Know that if your accident was caused by negligence, you have a right to be compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. It is important to not delay. The earlier we speak to you the earlier we can begin gathering evidence and creating an action plan for you.