Winter in Michigan is filled with driving hazards caused by snow, ice, and potholes.
But autumn presents its own unique perils which drivers must be cautious of to avoid car accidents.
While daylight saving time is already in effect, there is a good chance your internal clock is still getting adjusted.
Likewise, the changing weather conditions can shock some people who are still desperately clinging to the warmer months and refusing to act accordingly, especially while driving. And, of course, distracted driving and driving under the influence remain incredibly big threats to all motorists. Adding the following fall driving hazards to these distractions could lead to disaster.
Fewer daylight hours
The past few months you may have gotten used to waking in the dark. Now that we have changed the clocks, it’s time to adjust to getting home from work in the dark. It can be harder to see bicyclists, pedestrians, and children in the twilight and evening hours. And, of course, there is the blinding sunlight at different times of day. Keep sunglasses at the ready, pay extra attention to the road and cars stopping in front of you.
With hunting season underway, deer are on the move, and they are crossing roads without any regard for the traffic that abounds. If you see a deer cross your path, always slow down. Deer usually travel in packs and where there is one deer there is bound to be one or more others following the exact same route. If you do collide with a deer, do your best to keep control of your vehicle and do not swerve. Don’t veer for deer!
The later in the year we get, the colder the temperatures fall. Frost will be a given on most mornings come the dead of winter. Be sure to completely clear your car before getting on the road so that you have complete visibility. When signs say “Bridge freezes before road” heed the warning and slow down to avoid an ice slick. Shaded areas should be familiar to you on your daily commute – be prepared for these sections of road to be covered with black ice and be treacherous.
It’s not only wet leaves but wet pine needles that create hazardous roadways. When leaves and pine needles become soaked with rain, they become slippery, which limits your vehicle’s traction and can easily lead to a slide and a car crash.
Fall can be a fickle beast, changing temps and weather conditions quick dramatically. Be sure your car is prepared for any delays because of bad weather, poor road conditions, car accidents, or vehicle malfunction. Don’t take any chances on Michigan roads. Winterize your tires and your car as a whole and stock up the trunk with a thermal blanket, a first-aid kid, flashlight, scraper, shovel, washer fluid, and ice melter. Even if you don’t need these emergency items, you may be able to help a stranded motorist along the way.
About: David Christensen is a personal injury attorney who specializes in helping victims who have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Christensen Law has offices in Southfield, Michigan and Ann Arbor, Michigan.