Now that school is back in session, prepare to be more vigilant about road safety. Attendees of West Virginia University and Fairmont State University have returned, and parents and bus drivers alike are out and about twice a day shepherding younger students to and from school.
Such an influx of traffic always means a higher potential for motor vehicle accidents. Our Morgantown car accident attorney shares some car accident statistics as well as tips for staying safe on the road this fall.
West Virginia Car Accident Statistics
Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 2000 and 2015 based on the total number of car-related fatalities for each state showed that West Virginia is the eighth deadliest state for car accidents in the U.S.
Statewide, the most dangerous months for alcohol-impaired and speeding-related car crashes are typically August, September, and October. Speeding and driving under the influence are two major causes of car accident injuries and fatalities nationwide.
Therefore, it is very important to stay safe while on the road in West Virginia, especially this time of year. Below are some tips.
Be Careful on Rural Roads
Rural roads are more dangerous than urban roads in many ways. Their openness invites motorists to speed and animal crossings are a regular occurrence. Autumn marks the start of deer breeding season. Deer are most active during sunrise and sunset, so watch out for deer and other hazards when driving near woods and deer crossing signs.
Exercise Caution on Bridges
Bridges and overpasses may freeze as temperatures begin to drop. Even at times when the temperature is technically above freezing, wet-enough conditions can lead to ice on bridges—as well as on shadier stretches of road.
Don't Brake on Leaves
Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice, so drive slowly and avoid braking hard when passing over them. Also, fallen leaves may obscure road markers and road hazards such as potholes.
Watch Out for Sun Glare
As the days become shorter and the autumnal equinox comes and goes, prepare to have the sun in your eyes. This time of year, the sun perfectly aligns with roadways oriented east and west. Wear sunglasses or even choose an alternate route to avoid the blinding glare.
This tip is applicable year-round. However, because college students are just starting school and people are taking advantage of the last warm days of the summer, it is best to exercise extra caution this time of year. Don’t speed, never tailgate, and avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking, or accelerating so you don’t lose control of your vehicle. The more vigilant you are about road safety, the better you will react in the unfortunate event a nearby motorist is driving while intoxicated or otherwise recklessly.
We wish you and your loved ones a safe and fun autumn season!