The shorter days and different autumn routines bring changes in many other areas of life for Virginia residents. One of the most profound involves changing your driving habits. While schools have already been back in session for several months, other new hazards appear as the weather gets colder and nights become longer. Here are precautions you should take when driving in the fall and winter.
Beware of darkness
Although only 25% of driving occurs after the sun sets, 50% of motor vehicle accidents occur when it’s dark outside. That’s because it’s harder to see at night. Road hazards can suddenly appear, making it difficult to stop. But other problems can also manifest themselves. Glare from oncoming headlights in darkness can blind you, while the low angle of the sun at dawn and dusk can do the same. Fog is more prevalent in colder weather, reducing visibility to only a few feet. Many animals are more active during nighttime, especially deer that dart into the road when spooked by headlights. Slow down and constantly scan the road when driving at night.
Avoid weather hazards
When possible, try to avoid driving in bad weather, especially heavy snow and ice. Realistically, sometimes you must travel, so place winter tires on your vehicle when appropriate to grip the road and ensure that they are properly inflated. Fallen leaves and damp road surfaces also require longer stopping times for your vehicle.
You can’t avoid all accidents
Defensive driving goes a long way toward avoiding accidents, but it won’t prevent all as you can’t control the actions of other drivers. Your chances of suffering personal injury increase in winter, along with their severity and complexity. Such injuries may necessitate long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation.
If you or your loved ones sustain injuries in a fall or winter motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of others, you have the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. You can use the funds gained from a successful case to pay for medical treatment, living expenses, and lost wages, along with pain and suffering from your injuries.