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Fall brings new dangers to drivers

The fall season in West Virginia brings many changes to the environment and daily lives of residents. Fall foliage, kids returning to school and changes in the weather can all combine to make driving a suddenly different experience for those who are used to the summer. Motorists should remember a few things to stay safe on the roads in the fall.

When children go back to school, drivers should be alert for school buses and young pedestrians. In addition, traffic can be slower in the morning and afternoon hours when children are being picked up and dropped off. Drivers are advised to be especially cautious during these times and when driving near schools or school bus stops.

The changing weather conditions in fall can put forth an assortment of driving difficulties, including sun glare, rain, fog and frost. Earlier sunset can make a late afternoon commute a different and potentially more difficult visual experience. Glare can block a driver's view and make them 'blind" for several seconds afterwards.

Wildlife behavior changes in the fall as well, and deer activity increases. Drivers should be on the lookout for deer that could dart onto the road at any time.

Many drivers like to take leisurely drives to view the beautiful fall foliage. However, this adds more traffic to the roads and can mean many drivers are driving more slowly than usual. West Virginia's changing leaf colors attract out-of-state drivers, so local drivers could do well to be alert for out-of-state license plates and take appropriate precautions when following behind.

Most car accidents involving two drivers are covered by the insurance of the driver who is at fault. When an at-fault driver turns out to be uninsured, however, the other motorist's uninsured driver coverage comes into play. Uninsured driver coverage is required by law for all West Virginia drivers.

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