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Keeping Chicago Drivers Safe This Fall

September 29, 2014

As summer comes to an end, drivers face new risks on the road. Fall is a dangerous time for motorists, and drivers need to be aware of the dangers and take proper precautions during this driving season.

Oak Park personal injury lawyers know that some of the risks drivers face in fall include changing weather and daylight savings time. Drivers can do their part to avoid becoming involved in motor vehicle collisions by exercising reasonable care on the road. If a driver fails to drive in a way that is safe for weather conditions or otherwise takes unnecessary risks on the road, he or she can become legally responsible for causing an accident and injuring others.

The Risks of Driving in Fall

The AARP provides some tips on safe fall driving. Motorists should:

  • Be on the lookout for fallen leaves. When leaves sit on the roads, they can become wet and slippery. Drivers need to watch for patches of leaves as they drive. When a motorist parks, it is also important to avoid getting too close to leaf piles that could start on fire as a result of the car’s catalytic converter.
  • Stay alert on the roads. When daylight savings time ends, visibility is reduced. Drivers need to adjust their driving habits, even on roads that are familiar, and should be careful to watch out for pedestrians and motorcyclists. This is especially true when the time change first occurs and motorists may not yet be used to driving under poorer light conditions.
  • Check your vehicle’s tire pressure. Fall weather is often unpredictable and wild swings in temperature can occur. This can result in tires expanding and contracting and losing air pressure. Drivers should routinely check to ensure that tire treads are not worn out and that the tire is fully inflated.
  • Be aware of sun glare. The change in time may mean you get different sun in the morning and afternoons on your commute. This can result in more reflections off of car hoods and decreased visibility. Drivers should put a pair of sunglasses in their cars to help them see better and should consider purchasing lenses that have anti-reflective coating.
  • Plan ahead for bad weather. The AARP warns that fall can bring heavy rains, which can lead to hydroplaning as well as decreasing visibility. Drivers should slow down on roads where there is a lot of water.

A military transportation safety bulletin also warned drivers about the risks of unpredictable fall weather. The weather can change very quickly in fall and motorists could become caught in a storm. Rapid temperature drops can also cause bridges to ice or result in black ice forming. As Forbes indicates, the day after the first snow storm is always an especially dangerous time to drive because motorists have not yet become used to the snow. It is certainly possible that snow could occur in late fall, and motorists throughout Chicago should be prepared to follow safety tips to help avoid collisions this fall.

A Chicago, IL accident attorney can help after an injury. Call Coplan + Crane at 800-394-6002 to schedule your free consultation.