Usually in October, we post a reminder about Halloween safety and trick or treating. You can find last year’s here.
This year, we wanted to look at the hazards of fall weather for adults in general. As the fall weather changes, we will see more rain and wind. This weather makes for conditions that are more apt to lead to accidents on the road as well as on the sidewalks.
For drivers, it is time to slow down and leave more space between you and the cars around you. This includes letting that tailgater go by you so that you can regain control of the distance between you and other cars. Rainy weather, especially after a period of dryness, can make for slick roads and reduce the ability to stop. Leaves can pile up and trap water, making for a slick road surface that can be dangerous when braking. If the rain has been more continuous than puddles, especially on roads with higher speed limits, you must watch out so as to avoid a hydroplaning situation.
Daylight will be less in the morning and evenings as we progress through the winter as well. Everyone is in the same boat when we’re commuting in these conditions and leaving space and allowing for zipper-like merges will help keep you safe and sane during the winter driving season in Washington.
For pedestrians, leaves can be as slippery as ice – in fact, the water trapped in a bunch of leaves can freeze and make the pile even more hazardous. Leaves also cover up displacements in the sidewalk or other hazards like a tree root. While business owners have a duty to keep their entrances free and clear of hazards such as water, leaves and ice, it is also typical for these owners who don’t clear their entrances to blame the person who fell for not exercising better care for their own safety. While often this defense is not warranted, the prudent course of action, just as we tell our kids when trick or treating, is to make sure that you take greater care to avoid getting hurt. Also remember that it is getting darker every day through to December 21st and cars will have greater difficulty seeing pedestrians and cyclists.
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence and the weather was a contributing factor, please contact us for a free consultation. It is important to understand how the factor of bad weather will have a role in your case.