Top driving hazards for Arizona drivers this Fall

It’s October, and even here in Tucson, we are headed into fall. Whether you are heading home from work or heading out to the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson to peep some of the foliage, what’ do you suppose is the biggest potential hazard for drivers in Arizona this fall?

 Spoiler alert: It walks on four legs.

A major Insurance company publishes a “Seasonal Smarts Digest” every year and in this report, it covers several important statistics for drivers in all areas of the country.

As a whole in America, fall driving accounts for more than one-third (36 percent) of all auto claims that result on American highways between September and November.

During this time, animal collisions increase by 67 percent in autumn because of animal migration patterns, especially for deer and elk, compared to the summer months.

In the fall, automotive collisions occur 46 percent more often from September through November, compared to the three months prior summer months. Thirty-three percent of the fall collisions will come from multiple-vehicle collisions that are also an increase of 9 percent between 2014 and 2015.

While we make our living repairing collision damage, the safety of our customers is paramount. Therefore we wish to remind all of you with some of Farmers’ fall road tips to avoid an accident:

  • Wildlife is most active at dusk and dawn, according to the Arizona Parks Department, and the limited light during these times makes it more difficult for drivers to see animals on the road. Plan drives during daylight hours to reduce the risk of animal collision.
  • Busy school zones and streets popular with trick-or-treaters make it even more important to remain vigilant while driving. When possible, avoid driving through these areas or consider walking or biking to school or other fall activities.
  • Use the middle lane if you’re on a multilane road when possible. This will give you more time to spot an animal that is trying to cross ahead of you.
  • Portions of your route to work could convert to school zones during certain hours of the day. Obey all posted speed limits, watch for children in the street and pay extra attention around school buses. It’s illegal in all 50 states to pass a bus that is loading or unloading children on an undivided roadway.
  • If you hit an animal, pull over and call local law enforcement. They can direct you to your next step. In some states, there are special requirements regarding animal collisions. If you don’t do so, you can be charged with leaving the scene.
  • If you are in a collision with a dog or other “pet”, they are considered personal property and you must remain at the scene and call the police.
  • Don’t try to move the animal unless you are sure it is safe to do so. If the animal is still alive, wait with it until help arrives. Move it only if necessary, for example, if it is still lying in the roadway. But remember that a hurt and scared animal may lash out or bite when approached, so use caution and common sense.
  •  If you are in a collision with an animal that is small enough to move yourself, such as a dog, there could be legal ramifications from moving the animal, and taking “possession” of it. Once you take possession of the animal, you also become responsible for ensuring that it receives appropriate medical care. What constitutes taking possession of the animal?Picking it up or moving it to get it out of the street would not qualify as taking possession. But if you put the animal in your car, you have legally taken possession of it, and become responsible for its care.

In addition to the increased risk of a collision with an animal during the fall, based on comprehensive claims data analysis across eight regions in the United States, the following three items are also statistically higher in the fall months. They are as follows:

Southwest – California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.


  1. Vandalism & michief: 29 percent.


  1. Rear-end accidents: 17 percent.


  1. Car theft: 14 percent.


So as you begin your fall festivities and Holiday preparations, please be mindful of the statistical spike in animal collisions. But if you do happen to receive some collision damage this fall, you know who to call to get the damage repaired properly, and with a paint job that will match and last just like the factory finish. Click the button below to schedule your free estimate:


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