Autumn’s beautiful foliage doesn’t usually conjure images of danger, but the truth is, fall does pose potential safety hazards. It gets darker earlier, cold weather eats away at roads, and wet leaves cause slip and fall accidents all the time. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this autumn.
Stay Alert While Driving at Night
Turning the clocks back in November means you have fewer daylight hours. You’ll likely be driving to and from work in the dark. This poses a few safety threats. For one, it’s harder to see pedestrians and bicyclists on the street. Secondly, dwindling daylight tends to make us tired behind the wheel, especially after a long day of work. Take extra care to make sure your headlights are on as soon as it starts getting dark.
If you drive to work during sunrise, keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car. The sun can be extra bright on fall and winter mornings when there are no leaves on the trees to filter it. If you’re a cyclist or if you walk to work, make sure you wear reflective gear and brightly colored clothing.
Watch Out for Slippery Roads
Fallen leaves and nasty weather are a dangerous mix. They can mean slip and fall accidents to pedestrians and car accidents to drivers. Make sure to heat your car up and use the defroster before heading out on your morning commute; even moderately cold temperatures can cause your windows to frost. Likewise, check your tire tread and make sure your tires are inflated properly. Wet leaves make a slippery surface. Add some bald or underinflated tires and your risk for an accident increases.
Take it Slow
While you’re driving, stay aware of the road around you. Fall and winter weather deteriorate the infrastructure of roads. Fluctuations in temperature cause roadways to expand and contract, opening cracks in the road. When exposed to cold temperatures, these cracks turn into potholes, and potholes mean danger, so take it slow. Remember that bridges and overpasses develop ice much earlier than roadways do. Finally, keep an emergency kit in your car, just in case.
Most important, keep yourself healthy. Fall and winter are called flu season for a reason. Kids pick up germs at school and bring them home to you. Stuffy offices and other buildings allow bacteria to incubate and spread rapidly. Wash your hands, get your flu shot, and keep an extra sweater at work for bone-chillingly cold days. Most of all, don’t go to work if you’re sick. It will only prolong the time it takes to recover and will put other employees at risk.
Avoid Injury during Yard Work
If you plan to spend a weekend afternoon outside raking leaves, remember to bend at the knee and avoid back injury. Don’t let your children play in leaf piles that are close to the road. The piles are tempting to jump into, but a pile that’s too close to the road will hide your child from a driver’s view, especially during evening commutes.
Stay warm and stay safe this fall. For more safety information for you and your family, contact Erney Law.