Be on the lookout for these fall road hazards in Maryland

Autumn road hazards can result in serious car accidents.

Fall is a beautiful time of year. The leaves are changing, the apples are ripe for the picking, and cool weather makes for a comfortable environment with great sleeping conditions. Most people don't realize that with autumn's arrival, however, comes several risk factors for car accidents that can result in property damage and serious personal injuries.

Understanding the unique road hazards associated with fall might help prevent accidents and injuries.

Those lovely leaves

Viewing fall leaves is a great family weekend pastime. The colors are lovely, and there is always a feeling of anticipation when the time to go "leafing" is near. Those same lovely leaves harbor a dark side, though. When they accumulate on road surfaces, they can cause vehicles to skid on the slick surfaces.

Fallen leaves can also hide deep puddles and potholes. Hitting one of these could cause your vehicle to hydroplane or to lose control. Leaves can also cover up accumulated deposits of oil and grime on the roadway. Hit one of these, and it's almost like hitting ice.

Earlier darkness

As the year progresses, the days once again get shorter and the nights longer. Increased darkness means it's harder to see vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicyclists and other hazards. It can also make it more likely that drivers will run stop signs or ignore yield signs that they simply did not see. This can be catastrophic, particularly for walkers, bikers and motorcyclists, who will almost certainly suffer serious injuries in the event of a crash.

Watch for animals

Fall is the most active season for vehicle-versus-animal accidents (commonly involving deer). PETA reports that about 1 in 100 drivers will strike an animal at some point during their lives, and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data shows that the fall is the most active time for animal-related accidents. By the time you see a deer in the road, it's often too late to stop, and a collision could be unavoidable.

Sometimes, drivers trying to avoid accidents with animals can actually strike another vehicle, resulting in even more serious injuries and property damage.

These are by no means the only potential hazards you'll face on the roadway this autumn, nor are accidents limited to just the fall. No matter the time of year, if you or someone you love is injured in a Maryland car crash, contact an experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at the Annapolis law offices of Joel L. Katz, LLC. Call the firm today at 301-261-8858 or 410-841-5333, or toll-free at 800-966-5333. You can also send them an email to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.