I’m sure we all love the beautiful signs of fall time in New England – the temperature cooling down, the apples growing on the trees, and leaves changing color to create spectacular fall foliage.
However, this beauty does come with some risks. When the leaves fall, they cover the ground and once it rains the leaves become wet and slippery creating a danger to drivers.
Believe it or not, wet leaves can be just as dangerous as driving on ice. According to a study done by The Weather Channel, in dry conditions when driving 45 miles per hour, it takes the average driver 80ft to stop the car. When driving on wet leaves, the driver needs at least 200ft to come to a complete stop.
Being unaware of the risks associated with wet leaves can result in drivers driving too fast for the conditions or failing to slow down adequately on turns, which can cause catastrophic and fatal car accidents.
What makes wet leaves so dangerous?
Leaves have a waxy coating that repels water which leads to the pile up of moisture on top of the leaves, creating a slippery surface. Leaves can also trap water underneath them, causing them to remain wet for hours even once it has stopped raining. This also contributes to a slick surface.
Other ways that leaves can be dangerous
Aside from wet leaves creating slick driving conditions, there are other dangerous situations that both wet and dry leaves can cause.
- Leaves can cover roads. Although they may not be wet and slippery, they still may cover painted road markings making it difficult for drivers to see lanes and stop lines. This can lead to drivers accidentally crossing into oncoming traffic or veering into another lane.
- Leaves can stick on windshields and obstruct drivers’ views. Whether they are wet or dry, leaves can land and stick on windshields and wipers which partially blocks a driver’s view causing them not to be able to safely see the road.
- Leaves can pile up and cover obstacles in the road. Leaves can hide potholes and different types of debris which can be very dangerous to drivers who are unaware of these obstructions. Unseen road hazards can lead to severe accidents, blown tires or other damage to the vehicles.
Ways You Can Drive Safely with Leaves on the Road
Although leaves on the ground are unavoidable, Diller Law wants to share some tips to help you stay safe when driving this time of year.
- Slow down when you see leaves on the ground. You don’t know if they are wet or dry and it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Remove any leaves from the outside of your car before you begin driving. This prevents the possibility of the leaves sliding onto your windshield and obstructing your view.
- When possible, avoid driving through a pile of leaves. You do not know what is underneath the pile.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times to remain in control of your vehicle, especially in the event that you do drive over leaves.
If you are involved in an accident and suffer injuries due to unsafe premises Diller Law can help you get the compensation you deserve.
For a free legal consultation call us at (866) 513-5644.