Fall Safe Driving Tips for Nashville Drivers
Posted in Car accidents on November 12, 2023
Fall driving in Tennessee shouldn’t be different than any other season, right? Well, every season is different, particularly in Tennessee, so you should adjust your driving behavior accordingly. The Fall brings several distinct challenges for drivers that we want to discuss. Whether you want to head out and see some falling leaves or simply get from point A to point B, the following tips will be a good refresher.
When Do Most Crashes Happen in Tennessee?
Information provided by the Tennessee DOT breaks down how many incidents occur each year by month. In 2022, the months with the most accidents included October, November, and December. Aside from May of 2022, those three months were the only months with more than 16,000 total accidents, and December saw more than 17,000 accidents.
These numbers tell the truth – Fall is dangerous for drivers in Tennessee. For the rest of this month and rolling into December, we caution all Tennessee residents and visitors to remain vigilant on the roadways.
Tip 1 – Watch Out For the Distractions
No matter the season, driving demands focus. Fall introduces unique distractions, from the vibrant scenery to the challenges of increased mental and cognitive distractions. Watch out for distracted drivers, as the CDC categorizes distractions into mental, physical, and cognitive, all of which can contribute to accidents.
In addition to looking out for distracted drivers, we encourage you to reduce the distractions you have inside your own vehicle. We know that phones have become an integral part of our lives for everything from checking emails to filming social media videos. Tennessee law, however, makes it illegal for a driver to hold a phone or mobile device with any part of their body, to write, send, or read any text-based communication, and to reach for a cell phone or mobile device in any way that requires the driver to move from a properly seated position.
Tip 2 – Wildlife Caution, Especially Deer
Deer mating and migrating peak in the Fall, leading to increased animal activity. Stay vigilant for wildlife on roads. Additionally, other animals migrate through the area during this season, posing additional road hazards. A recent article from On Target News discusses deer mating season in Tennessee and encourages drivers to remain vigilant this time of year. The article states that, according to the Tennessee DOT, there have been more than 4,000 deer-related crashes across the state this year so far.
Tip 3 – Watch for Slick Roadways and Sun Glare
Fall’s charming fallen leaves can create slick, wet roads. The lower sun angle in autumn can cause blinding glares, making visibility difficult. Combat this by keeping windshields extra clean and utilizing polarized sunglasses and tinted windows.
Tip 4 – Expect the Unexpected During the Fall
Daylight Saving Time adjustments can lead to impaired driving for some motorists. Stay cautious and allow extra space between vehicles. Be prepared for unexpected maneuvers from other drivers, such as swerving or sudden stops. With daylight saving time ending, prepare for the sun to drop away earlier. Clean and check your car lights, use low and high beams appropriately, and remain vigilant for animals on the road.
Tip 5 – School Zone Awareness
When school is back in session, remain cautious around school zones and be prepared for changes in traffic patterns. In addition to school zone awareness, we also encourage bus zone awareness. If you regularly operate a vehicle in the mornings or in the afternoons when buses are picking up or dropping off kids, please remain vigilant around these areas and watch out for kids on or around the roadway.
Tip 6 – Tend to Your Tires
Ensure proper tire tread and pressure for optimal performance in wet and cool conditions. As the temperature changes, tire pressure changes. If you have tire pressure sensors in your vehicle, be on the lookout for any indication that you need to add air to your tires. However, you should check the air pressure manually just to be sure.
Tip 7 – Beware of Fog and Frost
Fall’s changing humidity and temperature can lead to increased fog and morning frost, impacting visibility. Warm up your car before driving in frosty conditions. This is the season in Tennessee where things change rapidly, and it is not uncommon for frosty conditions to come seemingly out of nowhere. Be ready for this each morning.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer
If you or somebody you love sustains injury in an accident this Fall (or next Fall or any other season), we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. If another driver caused the accident, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, property damage expenses, and lost wages. However, these claims can be challenging, even if another party was at fault for the incident. A car accident lawyer in Nashville can examine the facts of your case and help you move forward toward the best route for recovering compensation.
File Your Claims on Time
We strongly encourage any individual involved in an accident this Fall to get their claims filed promptly. First, you need to report the incident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. When you make your initial report, the insurance carrier only needs to know the basic details about the accident. Do not go into too much depth when you make your initial report online or through the mobile app. Let the carriers know that the incident occurred and that you are seeking medical treatment.
If the need to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party arises, you need to do so within one year after the accident occurs. The Tennessee personal injury statute of limitations put this one-year time frame in place, and failing to file a claim within this required time limit will result in a case dismissal. If you are working with a personal injury lawyer, your attorney can help file the claims properly, both with the insurance carrier and in the civil court system.