Summer may have the highest motor vehicle accident rate of the year, but fall can still be a chaotic season for commercial drivers. High school and college students are going back to school, and the colder weather and decreasing sunlight is making more residents spend more time in their houses.
Whether you’re delivering food, going to someone’s house to fix a leak or are updating a resident’s power system in New Jersey, you’re likely already adjusting to the different road hazards such as school buses and early sunsets. However, there are certain times in autumn where the roads can get incredibly dangerous for your job. It is important to be aware of these hazardous weeks early so you can take the necessary precautions.
Most colleges in New Jersey have their homecoming weeks near the end of September or the beginning of October. Package delivery drivers may be contacted to help deliver decorations, electricians might be called in to set up a stage or certain equipment and food delivery services will have their hands full delivering pizza to the school or the students throwing a party in their dorms.
At its peak, driving through a campus during homecoming week isn’t too different from driving on the streets near MetLife Stadium. You might encounter several intoxicated sports fans making poor decisions in the building you deliver to or on the road. Pay close attention to signs of drunk driving during your work hours. These students are inexperienced with driving and alcohol usage, so you need to stay alert.
Autumn features two major holidays that have a high rate of DUI accidents: Halloween and Thanksgiving. Many motorists think their biggest obstacles on Halloween are trick-or-treaters with dark costumes, but drunk drivers make up a significant portion. According to the NHTSA, 44 percent of those killed in a motor vehicle accident on Halloween night were involved with a DUI crash. That’s not even counting the weekend prior to the holiday where many adults and college students are throwing parties and ordering their costumes and food online.
Thanksgiving isn’t just the last major fall holiday of the year, it also marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Online shopping activity increases dramatically during the week, many families try to get their houses fixed by plumbers and electricians before their relatives arrive and even if you’re not working on Thanksgiving, you’ll still have to deal with drunk drivers and tourists unfamiliar with New Jersey’s roads on Blackout Wednesday and Black Friday.
Before you start filling up on gas for these chaotic autumn weeks, it is important to know what legal options you have available for workers’ compensation in case you are injured on the clock.