Fall-related weather and traffic conditions may increase crash risks

There are numerous weather-related factors that may cause accidents this fall. Seasonal traffic conditions can also contribute to crashes.

Now that summer is over and fall is here, there will be numerous changes to the weather and road and traffic conditions that potentially pose a risk to drivers. For many people, autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year, but Georgia residents should remember to be concerned about more than just the changing leaves while driving. It can help to be aware of the hazards particularly common to fall that people face on the roads.

Not surprisingly, weather is a top cause for car crashes across the country in the fall. According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, 23 percent of all crashes nationwide are attributed to weather conditions. About 6,250 people are killed and more than 480,000 injured every year in accidents due to adverse weather conditions. These may include rain, fog, snow and slippery roads.

Common driving hazards in the fall

What are some of the most common dangers that people face while driving in the fall? Esurance has provided a list of the conditions drivers should be aware of this autumn. These include the following:

  • Fallen leaves creating a slippery surface on roads when wet, frosty or muddy
  • Fog causing glare from headlights or greatly reducing visibility
  • Frost in the early mornings making roads icy and slick
  • Sun glare, especially in the morning or early evening
  • Change in the migration patterns of deer, increasing the chances of an animal wandering onto the road

Traffic changes are also common reasons for collisions on major roadways, country roads or city streets. With children starting school, there will be an increase in buses and family cars on the roads during the hours before and after school and during extracurricular activities. When combined with autumn's weather conditions, this traffic increase may turn deadly.

Horrific I-16 crashes caused by fog

A devastating series of chain reaction crashes that occurred in February 2013 showed just how dangerous fog can be. AJC.com reported that dense fog reduced visibility on Interstate 16 to a quarter-mile or less in some areas. In a spot on the highway between Macon and Savannah, up to 10 separate crashes involved at least seven commercial trucks and 27 vehicles total. Some collisions involved vehicles attempting to pull over to the side of the road to avoid the dangerous conditions, which were rear-ended or struck on the shoulder of the highway. In all, four people were killed in separate vehicles and nine others were hospitalized.

This fall, you may be able to avoid accidents by reducing your speed, giving others room and not turning on your high beams in fog. However, it is not possible to prevent all accidents, particularly those caused by others. If you are injured in an accident caused by a careless driver this autumn, you may be eligible for compensation. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.