When the summer warmth starts to fade and that familiar Ontario nip returns to the air, you know that fall has arrived. Your thoughts may turn to apple cider and autumn leaves, but there are other, more important things to keep in mind. Namely, how bad weather can impact your safety on Toronto roads.
When it comes to weather-related automobile accidents, most people think of snow and ice. But fall brings its own hazards that make it more likely to be injured in Toronto car crashes, including:
- Autumn leaves. As beautiful as they look in the trees with their changing colors, leaves that fall on GTA roads can be very dangerous. They slide underneath tires, making it difficult for the tires to “grip” the road. Adding rain reduces friction even further, putting drivers at risk for hydroplaning.
- Sun glare. The sun dips lower in the sky in the fall, closer to the horizon line. This lower angle can put the sun in the direct path of drivers, and also makes the light reflect off the surface at a more direct angle. Not only is it more difficult for drivers to see objects that are backlit in front of them, but they are more likely to experience temporary blinding from the extreme glare. The glare gets even worse as the sun rises and sets, making the commute to and from work an especially risky time for automobile accidents.
- Frost. The temperature in Ontario can be unpredictable in the fall, and a quick drop below freezing can leave your windows covered in frost. Drivers who are in a hurry to get moving may increase the risk of car accidents by starting out on the road too soon. Failing to fully scrape their windows or wait for their windows to defrost reduces their visibility and puts everyone on the road at a higher risk of injury.
- Fog. In the fall, the lengthening nights in Toronto begin to get colder, dropping below the dew point. Because warm air holds more water vapor than cool air, as the air cools, the water vapor escaped and condenses into fog. Dense fog can make driving extremely dangerous. Visibility can become extremely limited, increasing your chances of being injured in an automobile accident.
- Shorter days. Long summer days brought more hours of daylight driving. As the autumn nights get longer, so do the hours of driving in darkness. making it more difficult to see other objects and pedestrians.
- Deer. Almost 50% of auto accidents involving deer happen between October and December. Although automobile accidents involving deer can happen at any time, this three-month breeding season distracts the deer, making them more likely to run out into oncoming traffic. The shorter days also bring the deer’s most active times—dawn and dusk—right into peak commuting times.
Who Is at Fault in a Fall Weather-Related Accident?
Although the weather may be a factor in an accident, it’s not the only one. Insurance investigators will collect evidence in the event that the case goes to trial before a judge so that they can determine who was at fault for the accident.
Although a driver may have lost control of the vehicle, there are often actions that could have been taken before and during the accident to prevent it. Any driver who failed to take those actions may be determined to be at least partially at fault.
Safe driving actions include:
- Driving at safe speeds for weather conditions. Although there are no set speed limits for inclement weather, Toronto drivers that are moving fast when the roads are slippery or when visibility is reduced make losing control of the vehicle more likely.
- Maintaining proper spacing between vehicles for conditions. Drivers aren’t machines. Even in optimal conditions, they need a certain amount of time between when they see something and when they will be able to react to it. When the road is slippery or visibility is impaired, having more distance to come to a stop can make the difference between a near miss and a collision. Failure to leave enough distance between vehicles increases the chance for an accident.
- Using headlights during conditions of low visibility. Headlights are an important safety feature for cars, reducing the risk for accidents even during daylight hours by up to 10%. Failure to use headlights when conditions reduce visibility increases the chance of having an automobile accident.
- Using windshield wipers that are in good condition. Drivers who fail to maintain or use their windshield wipers add to conditions of poor visibility.
- Staying off the road when conditions are unsafe. The best thing a driver can do when predicted weather is unsafe is to plan ahead and stay off the road. If there are unexpected conditions that come up, pulling over and waiting for the weather to pass may be a good option.
- Replacing worn tires. Tires with less than the recommended amount of tread can reduce traction and make it more likely to lose control of the vehicle. Ensure you have winter tires on your car during the winter months.
- Keeping brakes in good condition. Brakes need to be in good condition in order to stop a vehicle effectively.
The driver may be determined to be at fault if he or she is determined to be operating the vehicle improperly or without maintaining the vehicle for the current road conditions.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Weather-Related Automobile Accident in the GTA?
Even if you were already checked by a medical professional at the scene of the accident, it’s important to see your doctor if you have any physical pain or mental confusion. It’s very common to feel the effects of accident-related injuries days or even weeks after an accident.
Once you’ve seen your doctor, it’s time to contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer. Without a lawyer on your side, it is extremely difficult to get the care that you need to heal properly from a serious injury.
How Do I Choose the Best Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer?
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer is critical to getting the care and settlement that you deserve to aid you in your recovery. There is no “one” personal injury lawyer who is the best for everyone.
At Claim Accident Services, we listen to your story and can recommend the best lawyer for your situation. We take care of everything that you need to get started on your case.
Contact us today if you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Greater Toronto Area. We’ll put you on the road to getting the care and compensation that you deserve.