Autumn brings shorter days to West Virginia, along with different circumstances that can cause safety problems for drivers. After the carefree summer months, take some time to remind yourself of hazards that you should look out for in darker and colder weather.
Remain aware of different driving situations
One of the first changes that fall brings is school is back in session. Observe the speed limit in school zones, but also watch out for children who may run into the street or vehicles that suddenly pull away from the rub and cause motor vehicle accidents. Those mishaps occur primarily during the day, but darkness also causes specific hazards. You’ll have a harder time seeing the road and any obstacles in the dark; the older you are, the more difficult it will be. Animals are also more active in the dark and are often spooked by headlights. You may end up swerving to avoid them and hitting another vehicle. Headlight glare can also make it hard to see.
Stormy weather brings its own set of mishaps. Try not to drive in heavy snow and icy conditions, as you’ll risk skidding into other cars and have trouble stopping. Damp roadways also lengthen stopping time, as do slippery leaves that have fallen from trees. Always slow down in fog and frosty conditions.
What happens if I am in an accident?
Sometimes no matter how careful you are, you may be involved in a serious accident in the fall and winter. Half of fatal accidents happen at night, and with longer darkness in the winter, those chances increase, as do your chances of severe injury.
Inexperience causes many autumn and winter accidents as drivers are not used to driving in hazardous conditions. Yet, many drivers are also negligent, driving too fast in rainy and snowy weather, which leads to losing control.