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Seasonal Auto Accident Risks

Casey Woodruff

car crashAutumn is finally here, and seasonal changes often coincide with a rise in auto accidents in Naperville and the greater Chicago area. According to an article from AARP, fall weather typically has unpredictable shifts. And as the days grow shorter, less daylight time can result in more traffic collisions. In particular, rush hour toward the end of fall can take place entirely after the sun has set. What do you need to know about staying safe on the road during the autumn months?

Keep an Eye Out for Leaves on the Road

Leaves usually begin falling from the trees in very late summer and early fall. When a substantial amount of leaves are on the ground and the weather turns rainy, those leaf piles can become especially hazardous for drivers. Indeed, as AARP points out, leaves on the roadways “can present slippery and dangerous driving conditions.” Although we usually think of winter weather and icy highways when we imagine what slippery driving conditions look like, wet leaves on the road can be equally as hazardous.

Dry leaves can  also pose problems. You should never park over a pile of dry leaves or near autumn leaf piles. To be sure, they can become a fire hazard for your car. Dry leaves can also hide potholes or uneven patches of road, according to an information sheet from Allstate Insurance. If you are not able to see one of these dangers on the road—to slow down accordingly or to avoid it altogether—you could be involved in a serious car crash.

Acknowledge the Increased Risks of Dwindling Daylight Hours

During the fall, the days become shorter. As a result, if you are driving home to Naperville between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., you are likely to be driving home in the dark as the weeks go on. When you lose daylight, you also lose road visibility. As such, it is extremely important to stay alert, even if you are driving on highways that you know well.

It is particularly important to be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists as the evenings get darker. It can be difficult to spot someone who is walking or riding a bicycle.

Planning for Students and Back-to-School Traffic

Kids throughout the Chicago area are heading back to school in the late summer, and by early fall, most of us have not yet grown accustomed to additional traffic around the times that schools let out. In addition to the risk of a fender bender, school bus accidents and school transportation-related crashes can be devastating. It is important to know the rules of the road when you are driving behind or passing a school bus. Failing to abide by traffic laws can result in severe accidents and injuries.

Being Prepared for Glare from the Sun

While most of us equate summer with especially sunny days, sun glare typically becomes a problem in early fall. Sun glare can interfere significantly with your driving and “can cause reflections off car windows and hoods and decrease your visibility,” according to the AARP. As such, it is a good idea to keep a pair of sunglasses in your car at all times. Those sunglasses could be an important tool in auto accident prevention.

If you or someone you love suffers injuries in an auto accident this fall, it is important to speak with an aggressive auto accident attorney in Naperville about your options. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to discuss your case.

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