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Beware of Dangerous Fall Road Conditions

Fall is my second favorite time of year, because the Mississippi Gulf Coast has plenty of beautiful fall scenery and activities to explore! Because we don’t have snow fall and cold weather (for the most part), many people do not associate the fall with challenging weather conditions. However, fall does bring specific seasonal changes that create dangerous road conditions for drivers. Some examples include: Increased Rainfall, Cooler Mornings, Sand blown Highways, Less Daylight, Time Change, Deer Season, and Slippery Conditions.

For instance, increased rainfall in fall many not seem so bad, but it can cause dangerous slick conditions. This is especially true when rain first starts to fall. Any motor oil that is on the road can rise to the surface, creating slick spots. Vehicles traveling too fast or those with bald tires are at an increased risk for accidents.

However, continued rainfall can create other hazards that are even more dangerous. Rainfall combined with fallen leaves or oil slicked sand can create roadway conditions as slippery as ice. Additionally, rainfall, cooler evenings, and lack of sunlight in the morning can also create dangerous driving conditions. Take it slow early in the morning, and if your vehicle does begin to slide or fishtail, try the following tips to gain back control:

  • Avoid the impulse to step on the break
  • Keep your eyes on where you want the car to go
  • Turn the wheel toward the slide, not way from it
  • Do not overcorrect
  • Begin to straighten the wheel as the car straightens

Limited Visibility: Rainfall and cooler temperatures can also cause foggy conditions. When driving through foggy areas, take it slow and try to use low beams and fog lights only. High beams will only decrease visibility and could completely blind oncoming vehicles.

Sun glare creates other visibility issues for fall drivers and can occur both when the sun rises and sets. Although sun glare can become an issue anytime during the year, the sun is rising later and setting earlier during this time of year. This means that sun glare may suddenly become a problem when least expected. To help reduce the glare, always keep the vehicle’s windshield clean and keep a pair of polarized sunglasses on hand.

DEER SEASON: Deer are more active during the months of October through January, and dawn and dusk are the times they are most likely to appear along the roads. Deer are often unpredictable and can appear with little or no warning. When driving at night, remember that deer can become panicked by a vehicle’s headlights. Use caution especially on country roads.

With our tree lined highways and wooded areas, deer may be found in surprising places. When driving this fall, stay on the lookout for deer and other wildlife, and keep in mind that the car in front may have noticed deer first. NEVER FOLLOW TO CLOSE!

When driving, look out for the following this FALL:

  • Watch for brake lights
  • Do not pass slow moving cars
  • Deer often travel in groups
  • Switch to low beams when encountering a deer at night
  • When stopping in the road due to deer, turn on hazard lights.

Even if you are a careful driver, you may still fall victim to an auto or truck accident. Both parties involved may experience a multitude of emotions from shock, dizziness, fear, and anger. Taking your attention away from the trauma of what just occurred, and what to do next can be difficult. The following steps will ensure you protect your rights and efficiently initiate the process of filing a case against the party responsible for the accident.

Stay at the accident scene
Never leave the scene of a truck accident. Instead, move your vehicle to a safe location and turn on your hazard lights.

Call the police and report the accident: If there is little to no damage, always call the police and file an accident report. In most states, this is required by law, and can also serve as important evidence later. Remember to obtain a copy of the report.

Seek immediate medical attention: After an accident, adrenaline is running high. So, it is important to seek medical treatment, even if you do not feel you have suffered an injury. Delaying medical care can negatively impact your case and claim. Insurance companies may assert that you are not really injured or that you are exaggerating your injuries. Always seek medical attention immediately.

Collect information about the car or truck driver. Gathering information about the truck and the driver will prove beneficial to your case and other parties that may have liability for the collision.

If in a truck wreck the following information is needed:

  • Name and phone number of the trucking company
  • United States Department of Transportation number on the truck
  • License plate number
  • Name and contact information of the truck driver
  • Insurance information for the truck
  • Obtain witness information

Witness testimonies are powerful pieces of evidence. Ask them what they saw and write it down, along with their name and contact information.

Always Take Pictures: Take pictures of your injuries directly following the accident and continue to take pictures as your injuries progress. To ensure evidence does not disappear or is destroyed, take pictures of the accident scene from different angles for different perspectives. When taking pictures of the accident scene, certain things to capture include:

  • Damage to all vehicles
  • Traffic signals and signs near the accident scene
  • Debris on the roadway
  • Any visible skid marks
  • Contact your insurance company

Contacting your insurance company is an important step! Skipping this step can impact the outcome of your case. It is important to avoid agreeing with anything the other insurance company may offer. Any information that you provide can be used to deny your claim or reduce your settlement. NEVER GIVE YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY A STATEMENT. Just report the incident.

Call an accident lawyer: To maximize your recovery, always contact an experienced auto and truck accident lawyer.

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