When the air gets cooler, the days get shorter, and the trees begin to turn from green to orange you know that fall has arrived. It’s a beautiful time of year – school begins and so does football. Fall evokes memories of sipping hot cider by a bonfire, pumpkin carving, and hay rides.

Fall is a wonderful time of year, and as the seasons change so must your driving habits. A few seasonal changes may affect your driving:

• With the shortening of days, your daily commute both to and from work may become a dark commute – even before daylight savings time begins. As you are commuting, people and children will still be going about their daily activities, even if it is a bit dark out. Be extra vigilant for joggers running in or along the road, cyclists biking along side traffic, and kids crossing the street. Make sure you program your lights to come on automatically in the darkness, and remember that you may need to turn your car’s lights on a bit earlier in the day. Know the areas that children gather in, such as schools and school bus stops. Just because it’s a bit dark out doesn’t mean that kids wont be playing while they wait for the bus. It can be difficult to wake up and commute, but even more so with less light. Keep alert and avoid any problems while driving.

• Since you will be using your headlights more as the days grow shorter, make sure your headlights are properly aligned and clean. Ensure you have the best visibility possible while driving in less light.

• Fall’s bright colorful leaves are one of the most beautiful aspects of the season, yet they can also be dangerous. Roads with heavy leaf coverage can become slippery, as the leaves are often wet and have a waxy slickness to them. If you notice a road with heavy leaf coverage, make sure to slow down and take turns with caution. Leaves can also cause trouble when they build up on your windshield wipers, so make sure you remove them to keep optimum visibility.

• People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the fall, deer are often spotted at this time of year as their mating season takes place from October to December. For drivers, this means that the chance of a deer crossing the road increases and extra caution must be taken while driving at dawn and dusk. Driving with your high beams on is also a good idea, and will help you spot a deer on the road.

• In many areas fall brings with it the first frosts, snows, and cold snaps of the year. Transitioning from summer to fall we are often in denial about the weather; don’t let your reluctance to turn on the heat keep you from being prepared. Keep a scraper and brush in your car for removing frost, ice, and snow. Clear your windshield, side windows, and mirrors of anything that inhibits your visibility, and make sure your defrost is working properly.

• Besides affecting your car’s windshield, frost and ice can also make the roads and bridges treacherous. Make sure you take turns with caution in areas where there might be ice or frost, and remember you can’t always see a slick spot. Areas of the road with shade, underpasses, and bridges are more likely to have ice patches.

The many seasonal changes that come with fall can make the roads a bit more difficult to navigate, and automobile accidents are common at this time of year. If you are involved in a car accident this fall, make sure you contact a Philadelphia car accident law professional before settling with the other driver or insurance companies. At the scene of the accident, the other driver may agree to a settlement and then later change their mind. Do not agree to anything until you have discussed your options with a qualified Philadelphia car accident attorney.

Enjoy the festivities and seasonal changes that fall brings. As you drive through the season, make sure you keep an eye on the road, and stay safe. If you do have an accident, call a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to discuss your options.