The change of seasons can, unfortunately, bring more than just colder weather to San Jose, California. The risk of personal injury accidents increases in autumn – at home, at work, and on the road. Seasonal viruses, traffic accidents, and slip-and-fall rates increase this time of year, as does the risk of negligence-related injuries. Our San Jose personal injury lawyers have created this autumn safety guide for 2018 to keep you and your family as safe as possible this fall.
Weather changes, damp roads, leaf litter, seasonal residents, back-to-school traffic, less daylight, and lack of fall vehicle maintenance can all increase the risk of a San Jose car accident during autumn. August is the deadliest month of the year for U.S. drivers, according to Nationwide. Fall-related dangers may not decrease during the other fall months – especially around the holidays. The risk of drunk drivers increases on Halloween night, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and other holidays. Increase your road safety habits during fall: Obey speed limits, pay attention to the road, watch for pedestrians (especially school children), and never drive drunk.
The transition from summer to fall also results in the need for special vehicle maintenance. Most vehicles require fluid and tire pressure checks as the temperatures change. Increased dampness on the roads can cause hydroplaning, or loss of steering control when the front wheels float on puddles of water. Staying on top of tire pressure and traction can help prevent hydroplaning, as can slowing your speed. Clean your windshield to help prevent sun glare. Autumn may not be as sunny as summer, but the sun is closer to the horizon, meaning it’s more likely to point into your line of vision.
San Jose residents often see an increase in the number of children on the roads in autumn. A combination of kids going back to school and outdoor, late-night Halloween activities makes the roads especially dangerous for child pedestrians. Drivers need to slow down when crossing through residential areas – especially during trick-or-treating times. Always be alert for children crossing the road or darting out from behind parked vehicles. As a parent, teach your kids proper pedestrian safety. Kids should never trick-or-treat without adult supervision.
Fall-related dangers don’t end on the road. When you get home, check for common hazards from your décor, home maintenance, and heating systems. Letting leaf litter build up in your gutters, for example, could increase the risk of a serious house fire. The same is true for unsafe Halloween or seasonal decorations, such as hanging dried stalks of corn next to light bulbs or other sources of heat. Decorate with fire safety in mind, using battery-operated lights instead of candles whenever possible. Check your smoke alarm batteries often during the fall season.
Before you dust off your old space heaters, schedule a professional inspection of all your home’s heating systems. Space heaters are some of the most common causes of house fires every year. In a single year, heating equipment caused 56,400 house fires, 560 deaths, 1,600 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage. It’s very important to have a professional look at your space heaters, furnace, fireplace, and other heating components before turning them on for the first time in autumn. Always keep flammable objects and materials (as well as pets and children) away from space heaters.
The risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents also increases in autumn. Wet leaves on the ground, slippery walkways, and yard decorations can all cause dangerous slip-and-fall accidents if you’re not paying attention. Pedestrians should wear smart shoes and always watch where they walk. Property owners should inspect their land and buildings regularly for potential fall risks. It’s a property owner’s duty to combat fall-related hazards and keep visitors safe.
Incorporating tips from this safety guide can help keep you and your family as safe as possible this fall. If you or a loved one happen to experience a personal injury in the Bay Area, contact our firm today. Our compassionate San Jose personal injury lawyers are here to hold negligent parties responsible and help secure the compensation you deserve.