Autumn is a beautiful time of the year along Maryland’s many scenic roadways. The leaves are changing and falling from the trees, animals abound, and cooler temperatures make it a prime time to be outdoors with family, be it picking apples or selecting a perfect Halloween pumpkin.
We associate the beautiful fall colors and the upcoming harvest-time holidays with autumn, but we might not realize the potential road hazards that come along with this season.
Beware of crossing animals
Autumn is the busiest season for vehicle-versus-animal accidents. These types of accidents increase by approximately 35 percent in the fall, and an estimated one out of every 100 drivers will strike an animal in their lifetime (according to PETA data). In particular, large animals like deer can prove deadly when struck at highway speeds.
Even if the animals themselves aren’t struck, it’s possible for drivers to cause a collision trying to avoid one. Swerving to miss a deer, for example, might result in a crash with another driver.
Be on the lookout at dawn and dusk
Earlier darkness – and longer nights – means that visibility is lessened, particularly at dawn and at dusk. Less daylight makes it harder to see other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists, particularly if cars are dark-colored or the walkers and bikers are wearing dark-colored clothing. Drivers must take extra precautions during the autumn and wintertime, particularly around early morning and at twilight.
Those stunning fall colors look amazing when the leaves are still on the trees, but they can cause a real headache once they fall to the ground. A layer of dew- or rain-soaked leaves on the roadway can produce a slick surface that can cause a vehicle to lose traction and spin out.
Leaves can also conceal deep puddles that may result in a vehicle hydroplaning.
These are but a few of the potential roadway hazards associated specifically with autumn driving. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident on a Maryland road, you may have a legal cause of action. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more.