As fall foliage reaches its annual peak, Mainers quickly find themselves remembering cool mornings, damp air, and decreased daylight – all of which can impact driving conditions. Preparing for the changing seasons not only helps keep you and your loved ones safe on the road this fall, it also helps get you ready for the colder months to come.
Colorful leaves often cover roads and are slippery when wet, posing serious risks to motorists, especially when freezing overnight. Leaves can also cause motorists to park further from the curb to accommodate piles, create puddles blocking drainage, hide potholes, and prompt bicyclists to stray from their designated lanes. Always remove leaves from your windshield to prevent them from getting stuck under your wiper blades.
Autumn’s sunrises and sunsets are during rush hour traffic and can cause a large amount of glare making it difficult to see the roadway. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle and clean your windshield inside and out to remove dust particles, streaks or smudges. Don't look directly into the lights of oncoming traffic at night and be sure to check your vehicle's headlights, taillights and turn signals to ensure they’re working properly.
Fall weather can change rapidly from warm to cold, creating morning frost and icy spots on the road. It’s important to drive slowly and brake gently when on overpasses and crossing bridges, as these surfaces tend to frost first. And remember, high-beam headlights bounce off of fog and reflect back at you, while low beams aim down toward the roadway and improve your visibility.
Kids are back in school and schedules and bus stops are often unpredictable this time of year. Be alert for pedestrians walking, jogging or biking through the streets, especially at night when they may be more difficult to see. Also, both Mainers and tourists alike enjoy cruising the byways and backroads admiring the fall foliage. Slow down and keep your distance, ensuring everyone is safe and sound.
Autumn is deer breeding season, and they pay less attention as they travel greater distances seeking mates. The nocturnal feeders are most active between sunset and sunrise, often traveling in herds. Late season harvests and hunters seeking game can also contribute to the travel patterns of deer, which are 3.5x more likely to be involved in an accident during the fall.
By being prepared and staying alert during the changing seasons, we can all help keep Maine’s roadways safe. And if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We’ve been fighting and winning for injured Mainers since 1974.
Maine lawyers working for Maine people since 1974.