With summer winding down and schools starting again, traffic on public roads and highways are going to be seeing different safety risks than they have over the previous few months. While there may no long be an influx of tourists and out-of-state drivers common during summer vacation, there are still unique dangers that everyone should be aware of when they set out on the open road.
At Ross Moore II, P.C., our legal team is dedicated to protecting the rights of local victims who have suffered preventable injuries in auto accidents. Because we want local folks throughout Atlanta and the state of Georgia to have the information they need when making safety a priority behind the wheel, we have put together a list of unique risks that affect our roads during the fall season:
- School is in session – Children returning to school, as well as colleges and universities, have a marked impact on traffic flow during the fall. With an increase in traffic early in the morning and late in the afternoon (when children start and end school), it becomes important to exercise extra caution, both for pedestrians and for increased vehicle presence. Be sure to note when you are approaching school zones, as you will need to reduce your speed and watch for children who may dart out into traffic. You can also brush up on Georgia school bus laws and what you should be doing when a school bus is nearby by visiting our previous blog.
- Teen and novice drivers – With school in session, high school students and young adults attending local colleges or vocational programs may be transporting themselves to and from school with little experience. Be aware that newly licensed drivers face greater risks of being involved in accidents, largely due to their inexperience and increased likelihood of taking risks. If you have a new driver on your hands, make sure you speak with your child about always making safety a priority whenever they are behind the wheel. This means avoiding distractions, following the law when it comes to cell phone use and having teenage passengers in the vehicle, and always scanning surrounding prior to making a turn, changing lanes, or making any other driving maneuver.
- Drowsy driving – Studies have confirmed that driving tired, even after missing only a few hours of sleep, can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. With more tired teens on the road in the early morning hours, and even tired parents who may have to wake up earlier to take their kids to school before work, the fall season can see an uptick in drowsy drivers and fatigue-related accidents. Make sure you and your children get enough sleep if they need to drive in the morning, and that it there are options for rides when drowsiness too greatly affects one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- Daylight savings – As the days begin to shorten, it bears reminding that our roadways will be darker for longer periods of time, particularly toward the end of the day and the evening commute. Make sure your vehicle’s headlights are on when dusk is approaching, and that they are in proper working order, and be vigilant of pedestrians and bicyclists when it gets dark. As a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist yourself, you can make yourself more visible my wearing bright and reflective clothing.
- Weather – Warm and sunny days may be on their way out, with inclement weather conditions becoming more and more common. Whether it is rain, fog, frost, or even sun glare caused by shortened daylight hours during your commute, you want to be sure you know how to drive appropriately when there are poor weather conditions. Aside from using your headlights and knowing how to react in possible skids (turn your vehicle into the skid and pump the breaks), you will also want to slow your speed whenever weather conditions making driving difficult.
It is important to note that we are not yet out of the woods when it comes to summer and roadway risks. In fact, we are still at the tail end of what experts have deemed the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” a time when fatal auto accidents increase substantially. This period ends on Labor Day, a time when everyone should exercise extra caution behind the wheel, especially when it comes to driving sober or finding a safe ride after drinking.
While knowing these risks can prepare you for new risks as we enter autumn, even the most vigilant and conscientious motorists can suffer harm when others on the road are negligent. When they do, our legal team is readily available to help victims better understand their rights and how they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim for a preventable car accident. To discuss a potential case, contact us for a free consultation.