During the fall months, South Carolina drivers should exercise caution due to the hazards of wet leaves and slippery roads. Falling temperatures also mean that roads begin to form dangerous black ice. Fortunately, there are a number of simple tips drivers can follow to avoid these hazards and stay safe this fall.
Dangers of Wet Leaves and Slippery Roads
Autumn means falling leaves. These leaves can get wet from rain or morning dew, potentially making roads dangerous. As they decay, wet leaves can make the road just as slick as black ice. Drivers should exercise extreme caution when driving on roads covered with wet leaves. According to the National Safety Council, October saw the highest rate of traffic fatalities in one recent year, with September also seeing an above-average rate of traffic deaths.
How to Stay Safe When Driving on Wet Leaves and Slippery Roads
Here are some simple but effective tips you can follow to reduce the likelihood of an accident involving wet leaves and slippery roads:
- Slow down: Remember to drive slower on slippery roads. At higher speeds, your car will need more space to slow down and stop. Speeding on slippery roads also increases the risk of spinning out.
- Check your tires: Check your tires to make sure they have sufficient tread and the correct amount of air pressure required by your car’s manufacturer, which will give them proper grip.
- Use dipped headlights: Use your dipped headlights or “low beams” to shine light onto the road surface, which can reveal patches of black ice.
- Recover from hydroplaning: Learn how to recover from a skid caused by hydroplaning or black ice. The specific technique you should apply will depend on your vehicle’s drivetrain and brakes.
- Refrain from using cruise control: Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads. When a tire loses traction while in cruise control, the vehicle may respond by accelerating, potentially causing the car to spin out of control.
- Always use your turn signals: Remember to use your turn signals before turning or changing lanes to avoid surprising other drivers.
- Avoid road hazards: Drive around any large patches of wet leaves or slippery ice on the road if possible.
- Keep a safe distance: Remember to leave extra distance between yourself and the traffic ahead. Your car will need more room to slow down if traffic ahead brakes.
What to Do If an Unsafe Driver Causes an Accident
Unfortunately, no amount of safe driving on your part can protect you from unsafe behaviors on the part of other drivers. If you find yourself in an accident someone else caused, take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Report the crash to your car insurance company.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
- Request copies of the police accident report and medical records of your treatment and rehabilitation.
- Keep copies of your bills, invoices, and receipts.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements if your injuries keep you from work.
Finally, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer from Stewart Law Offices as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can discuss your legal options and pursue the financial recovery you deserve for your injuries and losses.