Safety Tips for Driving During the Fall SeasonSeptember 11, 2017
Summer is winding down and fall is gearing up, which means the leaves are starting to fall from the trees, it is getting dark earlier, and kids are back in school. All of these things can create unpredictable and potentially dangerous driving conditions. Whether you are a newly licensed teen driver or you have decades of driving experience under your belt, keep the following safety tips in mind every time you hit the road this fall.
Be aware of children. With more children crossing streets on their way to school or to the bus stop, it is crucial that you are aware of your surroundings and drive carefully, particularly in school zones. Keep in mind that it is illegal to pass a school bus when it is stopped and its lights are flashing. Teen crashes also tend to increase as kids return to school, especially during the commute to and from school.
Remember that it gets dark earlier. While we do the majority of our driving during the day, half of all traffic fatalities occur at night, according to the National Safety Council. In addition, as drivers age, it becomes more difficult to see at night. This can make it challenging to see road signs and judge the speed and distance of other cars.
Watch for animals crossing the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, you are 3.5 more likely to hit a deer in the fall than any other time of year. November is mating season for deer, which is why you tend to see more of them during the autumn months.
Slick road conditions. When you combine light rain with an abundance of fallen leaves, it can cause dangerous slippery road conditions. When a driver hits one of these slick patches, he or she can lose control of the car, often resulting in serious accidents and injuries. When there is a lot of rain or large puddles of water, the car can hydroplane and the driver may lose control.
Keep your tires well-maintained. If the air pressure in your tires is low, or their tread is worn down, they will not perform as well as they should, particularly on wet, slippery surfaces. In extreme cases, low air pressure can lead to blowouts, which can be very dangerous. Make sure that your tires have the correct pressure, which is posted on the driver’s side door.
Prepare for glare. The sun’s glare can be blinding. If you know you will be driving when the sun begins to set, make sure you have your sunglasses handy. Also, try not to look directly at the sun as it can impair your vision. Dirty windshields can also make sun glare worse. Keep your windshields clean so the streaks do not intensify the glare.
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