In autumn, special dangers exist that can lead careless drivers to cause an accident. What are these hazards and what should you do if you were hurt in a crash?

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How Fall Driving Hazards Can Lead to Auto Crashes

While the fall can be a beautiful season with sunny skies, gorgeous color-changing leaves, and cooler temperatures, it can also be a dangerous time for motorists. Tragic accidents can occur when drivers engage in negligent driving practices and do not drive for the weather. Some of these accidents can be even more devastating when the victims are children.

What Are Fall Dangers That Lead to Car Accidents?

Motorists need to be extra careful when driving in the fall due to the unpredictability of conditions that could increase potential dangers. This means slowing down, being more observant, and driving defensively. Common dangers that lead to accidents when drivers are negligent include:

  • Slippery roads. Those who live in the Pacific Northwest are certainly accustomed to rain, but the wet weather is even more prevalent in the fall. Precipitation mixed with fallen leaves can create extremely slippery conditions on the road. Drivers can skid over leafy areas and lose control of their vehicles.
  • Shorter daylight hours. The sun rises a little later and sets a bit sooner during autumn, which means more drivers on the road when it is dark. Since visibility is reduced at night, accidents occur more frequently.
  • Wildlife. Deer, raccoon, and other wildlife make more appearances than usual during the fall months, and drivers often spot them on the roads. Crashing into one of the animals can cause serious injuries for everyone in the vehicle.
  • Back-to-school traffic. Fall signals the start of school, more cars and buses on the road, and children walking and biking to school. When drivers speed and do not watch for children either on the road or getting on or off a bus, a very tragic accident can be the consequence.
  • Fog. Fog can be common in the fall and can dramatically reduce driver’s visibility in heavy fog areas. To drive safely, drivers should put on their headlights and slow down.
  • Sun glare. Glare from the sun can be even more problematic in the fall. Drivers need to keep their windshields clean and wear sunglasses to improve visibility enough to safely drive.

Fall Car Maintenance Tips

You can decrease your chances of getting into an accident by driving for the weather and performing fall maintenance on your vehicle. Some maintenance tasks to be certain to do each fall include:

  • Check your tires for proper pressure and tread.
  • Have the battery checked to be certain it is charged and in working condition.
  • Check your wiper blades and replace them as necessary.
  • Check your lights to be certain that they are working properly.
  • Change your oil and your air filter.

What Steps Should You Take If You Are Injured in a Fall Car Accident?

Even if you take precautions for fall driving dangers, other drivers may not, and you could be a victim of an accident. You could be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company. To build the strongest claim possible, start by taking these first steps:

  • Call the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Get immediate medical care if you are obviously injured and see a doctor within a day of your accident even if you do not believe that you were hurt.
  • Obtain contact information for the other driver, his insurance company, and witnesses at the scene of the crash.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved, road and weather conditions, your injuries, and anything else you think would be helpful.
  • Retain an experienced car accident attorney immediately to investigate your accident, file your claim, build your case against the negligent driver, and negotiate your settlement.

Do you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company? To learn how we can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve, call our office to schedule your free consultation.