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Fall season poses extra risks to motorists

Autumn can bring some relief from hot Georgia summers. However, drivers also need to be mindful of how the season influences safety on the road. Adjustments in driving habits could reduce the chance of an accident during this busy season.

Traffic gets heavy at the end of summer with back-to-school activities. With many students crowding roads and sidewalks, drivers should slow down and give themselves extra time to reach destinations. Tourists on fall color vacations add to traffic in some places. Locals should give drivers with out-of-state plates extra room because tourists might stop unexpectedly.

Longer and cooler nights increase the chance of fog in the mornings. Fog represents a significant safety hazard. When entering foggy conditions, drivers need to slow down, maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles and never turn on the high beams. The brighter setting for headlights actually reduces a driver's ability to see in the fog.

Shorter days also lead to people commuting to and from work in the dark or when the sun is low in the sky. The sun setting behind a driver creates a chance of bright light reflecting on a rear view mirror, which could temporarily cause blindness.

Although some motor vehicle accidents are beyond control, the law could hold reckless drivers responsible for the medical expenses and lost income of accident victims. A person who suffered injuries because of another driver's drinking, speeding or texting could ask an attorney to evaluate the case. A victim might gain important insights from an attorney about rights to compensation. After organizing evidence from a police report, witness testimony and an accident reconstruction specialist, an attorney could file court papers and pursue a settlement for damages.

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