ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s that time of season when we can get outside with a comfy long-sleeve shirt and watch the leaves fall. We can celebrate Oktoberfest, Halloween parties and there’s nothing like watching the wildlife on those crisp autumn evenings – but seemingly everything becomes more dangerous when we’re on the roads.
Yes, it’s one of the most dangerous times of the year. A Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says everything I just mentioned above can be a hazard on the road.
“Falling leaves, drunk drivers, distracted drivers and animals can make the roads and highways a real mess around Rochester,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “None of these are excuses that can clear you of liability in a crash so it’s important to recognize the change in season and drive carefully.”
Sure, they’re great to watch and the colors in Western New York are stunning but this yearly ritual can be dangerous under the right circumstances. Leaves don’t provide the same traction for tires as a dry road surface; and if the fallen leaves have clogged any drainage areas, there’s a good chance for flooding – and hydroplaning.
Where the leaves have fallen, auto accident lawyers suggest changing your driving habits.
“Leaves can be surprisingly dangerous and slippery but the good thing is they’re usually very noticeable,” Cellino said. “Adjust your speed around turns and always provide enough braking distance in case the person in front of you decides to stop and take a picture of our scenic region.”
Many people celebrate Oktoberfest and a plethora of Halloween parties can make driving home spooky due to a number of drunk drivers on the road. Although the number of drunk driving accidents has been reduced in recent years, it remains one of the top causes of a deadly car crash.
Obviously if you’ve been drinking at fall party, take a cab or find another ride home. If you’re not nabbed by extra police patrols on the road, you could cause a deadly car crash or even hurt another driver or pedestrian.
It’s certainly the most common accident in the fall season. In fact, cars and trucks colliding with animals double the amount of crashes caused by alcohol, drowsy driving and drugs combined.
“Hitting an animal can be a traumatic experience for many drivers and sometimes, someone can get injured,” Cellino said.
Many animals migrate during the fall and deer can be on the move. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, “animal’s action” was a key factor in nearly 10 percent of all crashes.
Rochester car accident attorneys urge drivers to slow down and make sure you have enough time to stop if you spot something in your headlights – as deer are most active in the evening.
As cruel as it sounds, lawyers are also telling drivers not to swerve. Swerving can put your vehicle in the path of oncoming car, which raises the chances of serious injury or death to multiple drivers.