Tips to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe On The Road This Fall

Updated: Sep 29


Fall is in the air and as we welcome the change in seasons, we must be extra cautious as more leaf peepers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders head out on the road to enjoy autumn in New England. Falling leaves, damp roads and less hours of daylight create numerous hazards.


At Sheeley Law, we want you and your family to enjoy the outdoors safely. Please follow our tips below to help protect you and your loved ones:


Check Your Tires

Tires will drop at least 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure each month, no matter the weather. With the cooler fall air, tire pressure decelerates at a faster rate, roughly an additional pound per square inch of pressure for every 10-degree decline. Having good tire tread and appropriate tire pressure is important to ensure a safe ride.


Use Extra Caution Around Fallen Leaves

As the trees shed their leaves, it becomes more difficult to see potholes and bumps in the road. In addition, fallen leaves block drainage, which leads to more puddles and slick surfaces. Wet leaves create a mat that reduces traction no matter how new your tires are. And, when they accumulate on the roadway, they become extremely slippery, making the driving conditions similar to driving on ice. If you are driving on a road covered with leaves, slow down, especially when driving on curved roads.

Watch Your Speed

While there are fewer cars on the road due to the coronavirus pandemic, speeding is on the rise and experts believe it’s a leading cause of recent accident fatalities in our state. According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s most recent quarterly report, there was a spike in fatal crashes as the state emerged from months of tight COVID-19 restrictions. “While the overall rate of crashes has reduced due to less cars on the road, cars are speeding and when a crash occurs the fatality risk has increased greatly.”[1] This fall, please be extra mindful of speeding on the road. With both leaf peepers and fallen foliage, make sure you have plenty of stopping distance to avoid rear-ending another vehicle.


Use Extra Caution When Traveling at Dusk/Night

The sun is setting earlier and that means more time will be spent driving in the dark. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised after the sun sets, which is why it is of critical importance to:

  • Make sure your headlights are on and working properly.

  • Drive at reduced speed and keep an eye out for pedestrians on the road.

  • If you are walking or riding your bicycle, follow all pedestrian laws and wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you.


The transition from summer to autumn brings all types of change, including changes to road conditions. From all of us at Sheeley Law, we hope you enjoy the cool crisp air and the beautiful colors of autumn safely. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident, Sheeley Law is here for you. Personal Injury Attorney Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience serving our local community and is available to you 24/7. Please contact us by calling 401-619-5555 or emailing asheeley@sheeleylaw.com.

[1] http://www.dot.ri.gov/accountability/docs/RWQR_Full_Report_07-20.pdf

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