Fall is a gorgeous time of year — but it’s also hazardous for drivers. A lot of drivers forget just how dangerous the season can really be.
Here are some tips that can help keep you safe behind the wheel this fall:
1. Be conscious of the increasing darkness
It starts to get dark early in the fall — by the end of October, you might as well get used to heading out in the dark on your morning commute and coming home in the dark at the end of the day. Keep in mind that people generally only spend 25 percent of their time behind the wheel driving in darkness — but half of all accident-related deaths happen in the dark.
2. Watch for damp roads and wet leaves
You also have damp roads to contend with on a regular basis in the fall — with the addition of wet leaves. These are particularly hazardous on residential streets where the leaf piles can get pretty thick. If you happen to live in an area with a historical street that is still paved in brick, be particularly cautious. Slime from the decaying leaves can build up and hang around long after the leaves are bagged and gone.
3. Gauge your aging eyes
Another danger to your safety comes from your own aging eyes. Whether you’re sensitive to light or have a hard time seeing the roads clearly in the dark, fall doesn’t make it easier on you.
The sun is closer to the horizon in fall, so the reflective glare you get often cuts right under the sun visors in many cars. Keep sunglasses or clip-on lenses for your glasses handy.
However, if you’re getting older, you may also have more trouble seeing in the dark than you used to have. Aging eyes have more trouble with refraction, turning every headlight into a blurry circle of rainbow light and making it harder to see road signs. If you’re on a road that’s empty ahead, use your bright lights liberally — but drop them down as soon as another car comes into view.
If you are in a car accident this fall with a driver that isn’t as cautious or prepared as you, an attorney can provide more information about your right to fair compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Source: AARP, “Fall Driving Safety Tips,” James R Healey, accessed Oct. 27, 2017