Cooler weather, shorter days, pumpkin spice, apple cider… fall is a beloved time of year. Unfortunately, as the seasons change, so do the types of hazards our customers face.
Insurance agents can help educate policy holders on seasonal risks. It’s important to explain the claims process and provisions of your customer’s policy not only during initial contact, but throughout the year as seasons change.
Here are 5 auto claims that spike in the fall months for Mississippi and Alabama
Most animals don’t look both ways before crossing the street, and drivers in a hurry may rush out of their driveways before their windows are completely clear and defrosted. This creates the perfect conditions for collisions on slick autumn roads.
At MetLife Auto & Home ©, almost 50% of all animal collisions for the year occur between September and December. November, which is deer mating season, accounts for 18% of animal collision claims.
Slowdown in areas with deer crossing signs, especially at dawn and dusk. Look out for a group, deer don’t usually wander alone. If you see a doe near the road, there could be a buck popping up nearby. Here are more tips for avoid deer.
2. Fog and mist
In many parts of the country, warm summer afternoons are giving way to chilly nights. The change in temperature can lead to some morning fog or steamy afternoon mist.
47% of fog and mist related collisions are reported between September and December. 17% of those claims are reported in December alone, as fall surrenders to winter.
Check your front and rear fog light, making sure that they work properly and that you know how to use them. If fog forms inside of your windows, the trick is to open them a crack and then blast your defrosters. Give yourself plenty of room between you and the car ahead.
3. Parked cars
By the numbers, parked car claims are the third highest type of volume loss from September to December. Busy school parking lots are a likely culprit.
There is also the factor of holiday shopping. People tend to run a great deal more errands this time of year, shopping for holiday feasts and presents. All of the extra hustle and bustle can lead to some parking lot dings and fender benders.
Watch out for drivers cutting across parking spaces diagonally. When backing out of a space, double check your view for other cars in reverse or pedestrians passing behind you. Park in well-lit areas and ask security to walk you to your car if you don’t feel safe. Do not double park or park in between spots; you don’t want to attract retribution from other drivers.
4. Rain and slick roads
There are many factors that can make autumn roads extra slippery. In the Northeast, leaves carpet the roads this time of year. When it rains, wet leaves create a slick surface and tires are unable to grip the pavement. The first frosts of the season can catch drivers off guard, especially on bridges and elevated surfaces.
In the Midwest, the first rain after a time of drought can actually be the most dangerous, as water pools on top of dust and oil that hasn’t been washed away.
Almost 40% of all claims caused by rain and slick roads are reported between September and December.
Slow down and leave room. With as little as 1/12th inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. If you hydroplane or skid, do not slam on the breaks; do your best to keep your eyes and wheel in the direction you want to go. Make sure your tires are not experiencing baldness or dry rotting and replace them as needed.
5. Sun glare
Time changes in the fall. School is back in session. The days get shorter and the clocks “fall back” an hour. Driving the kids to school in morning used to be in full daylight, but as autumn progresses, drivers are facing some sun glare. It’s difficult to see pedestrians and the brake lights on the car ahead.
Sunsets will start to impact evening commutes. Even when the sun sets behind a driver, it can bounce off of the rearview mirror or reflect off of traffic lights and blind you while your eyes adjust.
39% of auto claims caused by sun glare are reported between September – December.
Invest in some polarized sunglasses to reduce glare. Drive with your headlights on to provide extra visibility for other drivers on the road. Keep your windshield clear and clean from smudges. Avoid storing papers and items on your dashboard.
Click here for more safe driving tips. Pearson & Company Insurance is a leader in Meridian, East MS and West AL in claim's service. Give us a call if we can help you, 601-482-6699.
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