If you live in or around the Sacramento area, you’re well aware of the fact that forest fire smoke has a way of affecting you during the fall months.

In addition to the impact on your health, it can also make it difficult to navigate the local roadways. If you find yourself driving in smoky conditions, here are five tips you can follow to maintain your safety:

  • Turn your headlights on: Using your low beams in forest fire smoke increases your visibility. However, using your high beams is a mistake, as the light will reflect off the smoke and into your eyes.
  • Slow down: If you see smoke in the distance, slow down to ensure that you have enough time to stop if necessary. Smoke can create an illusion of slow motion, so you want to closely watch your speedometer.
  • Watch for parked vehicles: While you may have the nerve to drive through forest fire smoke, others often pull to the side of the road to wait for conditions to improve. Driving at a slow rate of speed can help you avoid an accident with a vehicle that is parked on the shoulder.
  • Roll up your windows: It’s imperative to keep your windows up, as you don’t want to let smoke inside your vehicle. Also, turn your car’s fans to recirculation mode, as you don’t want to bring in outside air.
  • Use your turn signals: Not only should you use your turn signals, but you should also do so as far in advance as possible. This gives other drivers a clear idea of what you’re doing next.

You hope to never find yourself driving through forest fire smoke, but when you hit the road during the fall months it’s always a risk.

Even if you’re taking extreme caution to maintain your safety, other drivers don’t always do the same. A negligent driver, such as someone who speeds through a smoky section of the road, increases the risk of an accident.

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident, pull to safety and call 911. Also, stay inside your vehicle, as you don’t want to expose yourself to the smoke.

After receiving treatment, contact your insurance company and learn more about the many ways to obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages related to your accident.