Fall is one of the loveliest and yet dangerous seasons of the year on Virginia highways, specifically in Southwest Virginia. Spectacular foliage and warm-colored aesthetic create amazing and stunning sceneries, but drivers should be careful when driving through them. In this article, Kalfus & Nachman's competent auto accident lawyers have shared some essential tips for driving on wet leaves in Lynchburg, Virginia that may help you to stay safe on the road this fall.
The state of Virginia has 15.72 million acres of forestland, which covers 60 percent of the state. When fog and rain mix with this beautiful fall season, you get a slick wet blanket covering a road, a driving nightmare for unsuspecting drivers. If you or a loved one gets involved in a collision due to the bad weather and falling leaves, seek advice from our expert attorneys immediately. We will effectively safeguard your rights and ensure you recover the maximum compensation for your losses.
How Can Falling Leaves Make Driving More Dangerous
Fall leaves, as gorgeous as they are, can cause havoc on roadways. Here are some of the common dangers of leaves on the roads:
- When it rain, leaves on the roadway become as deadly as ice. The waxy coating on leaves repels water. It makes leaves slip on leaves, slip on the road, and tires slip on leaves. The slick factor increases exponentially when the motorist tries to break on the layers of these wet fallen leaves, causing him to swirl or lose vehicle control.
- With the drop in temperature, these wet leaves will freeze and turn into lethal frozen leaves on the road.
- Leaves on the road can conceal all road markers as well as potential dangers such as potholes. You might not be able to see how wide your lane is or whether you're in a passing lane.
- When driving at 45 mph, it takes 80 feet or more to come to a complete stop. But when there are leaves on the road, the stopping distance doubles, leaving not enough room to stop in case of an emergency.
- Fall is a complicating factor, even on a sunny day. There is a possibility of a fire hazard from the heated undercarriage of a vehicle when parked nearby piles of leaves.
Safety Tips For Driving On Wet Leaves
Driving down tree-lined roads, along I-64 soaked in the stunning autumn hues is the most enjoyable aspect of driving in the fall season. However, these beautifully-colored leaves hide hidden dangers for motorists. Following safety tips for driving on wet leaves will help keep you safe as you enjoy the cool crisp air and the beautiful colors of the autumn.
- Reduce Your Speed: Wet leaves pose dangers identical to black ice. Stopping on the slick road is tough. If you're driving on a leaf-covered- road, slow down, especially if there are sharp bends or curves.
- Avoid Tailgating: Maintain a healthy distance between the vehicle in front of you because even after you have braked, the leaves can cause your wheels to lose grip and skid, just like ice or snow.
- Tires Have Good Tread: When it comes to driving safely through wet leaves, your tires are crucial. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread to deflect water away from them. Get your tread depth and tire rubber condition checked by a professional. Regularly checking your tire pressure is also necessary as tire pressure might decrease a few degrees overnight during the cooler months. Fully inflated tires give the best performance on wet roads.
- Keep Your Windshield Wiper Blades Clean: To avoid wet leaves becoming lodged beneath the windshield wiper blades, keep your windshield clean. Ensure that you replace your windshield wiper blades if they show any signs of wear and tear, as it is crucial to have a perfect windshield if it starts raining.
- Be Gentle While Applying Brake: When a damp road meets wet leaves, it gets as tough as driving on the ice. Always brake gently and allow lots of space to stop in case of an emergency. Replace brakes if they're not in good shape. If your brakes aren't working correctly, stopping will take longer, and you'll be more likely to skid.
- Be Extra Cautious of Children Near The Road: Drive carefully through leaf heaps or on the sides of the road where leaves have piled, as kids may be playing around. Jumping into leaf heaps or burrowing deep into them to hide is a favorite pastime of children. Keep an eye out for children entering and departing buses, as well as crossing roadway as a pile of fallen leaves, can block your view.
In addition to the above safety tips for driving on wet leaves, bear in mind that there are fewer daylight hours in the fall season. Drive safely while adjusting to earlier darkness and be watchful of pedestrians.
Even if you take every precaution imaginable to keep safe when driving on wet leaves in the autumn, you may get injured by someone who isn't as cautious. Do not hesitate to contact Kalfus & Nachman’s skilled car accident attorneys if you have been injured in an auto accident in Virginia. Call us for a free consultation today: 855-880-8163