Each change in season comes with its own benefits and challenges. Autumn is no different. From raking leaves to driving, autumn comes with beautiful changing colors and some increased risks.
Autumn brings leaves and to some, strain and repetitive injuries from cleaning up outside. When raking leaves, you should choose a rake that fits your height and if you can afford to, buy one with ergonomic handles. If you’re cleaning leaves and debris from your rain gutters, make sure to have a stable ladder in good condition and if possible have someone hold the ladder in place. There is no race so take your time and avoid injuries.
Leaves & Frost
Leaves can be dangerous, especially when wet. Be careful when you are walking around your home and neighborhood or even driving. Leaves can hide holes in the sidewalk or road which could lead to an injury. As the days get colder, make sure to watch out when walking and driving in the early morning for frost patches which can cause one to slip. Use extra caution when driving around shaded areas as they may be more likely to be covered with frost and have less traction.
Stay attentive during and after a heavy rain. Leaves become slippery when wet, which could cause your vehicle to skid or hydroplane as it does on ice. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition. If you’re caught in a heavy downpour, you may want to pull off the road until it’s safe to continue. If you continue driving, be sure to drive slowly and cautiously and consider using your emergency blinkers to help ensure visibility.
School is back in session and there are more pedestrians on the roads. Shorter days mean reduced visibility on the roads. Remember to always scrape off or defog your windows before starting to drive. When coming upon fog, it’s best to slow down, avoid any hard braking, and use your low beams to avoid glare. Fog can change the perception of distance, therefore, try and look ahead so that you slow down if you know you are going to stop ahead.
The shortened days may mean that you’re driving into the sun more often. Early morning and late afternoon sun glare are the worst. Sun glare can impact your sight for several seconds after exposure, making it hard to see pedestrians, oncoming traffic, or the car in front of you. Avoid the sun glare by using your sun visor. Sun glare can cause reflections off car windows and hoods and decrease your visibility on the road. Polarized sunglasses and a clean windshield all help keep you safe and increase your visibility.
As our nights are getting longer, night driving is probably inevitable. Remember to have your rear-view mirror in its night mode (flipped down) to reduce another vehicle’s headlight glare. Make sure your headlights are turned on and are clean and reduce your speed and increase your following distance with other vehicles. If you live or drive through wooded areas, keep your eyes open for deer in the evenings and at night. Autumn is a busy season for deer and they are more active as they mate and migrate.
During autumn and winter months, bridges can be very dangerous. Bridges are exposed to the elements on both top and bottom, so they will freeze over before the rest of the road. Use additional caution when going from a road to a bridge surface.
We hope these tips give you a good handle on how to go through autumn without any injuries. Unfortunately, there is always the unexpected, bad luck, or negligence of others. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, call Walther Goss Law at 612-824-2244 to set an initial free consultation.