Winter tends to get all of the attention when it comes to hazardous driving. While snow and ice present particular challenges to drivers, it’s just as important to be aware of some of the hazards that accompany driving in the fall.
Danger: Falling leaves
You might not consider fallen leaves to be a hazard when you’re driving. However, if you get enough leaves and add a splash of water, that roadway can be just as dangerous as one covered in ice in January. Take it slow if you’re driving after an autumn rainstorm and give yourself plenty of time to stop.
Beware of the deer
Fall means it’s deer breeding season. The hours surrounding dawn and dusk tend to be the most dangerous. Be extra cautious if you’re driving down a road with a deer crossing sign. At night, in sparsely trafficked areas, use your high beams to illuminate the sides of the road better. If you can safely avoid hitting a deer, do so. However, if a collision is unavoidable, don’t swerve to avoid hitting the deer. Doing so could lead to more severe injuries than you would receive from your impact with the animal.
Give yourself time to adjust to shorter days
Shorter days and longer nights can be treacherous, especially when daylight saving time ends. The peak time for fatal crashes between October and March is from 4:00 p.m. to 7:59 p.m., as opposed to later times in spring and summer. Make yourself especially aware of pedestrians when the sky darkens, or the sun is at a low angle. If setting your clocks back has a noticeable effect on your sleeping patterns, avoid drowsy driving.
By taking precautions and making yourself aware, you can help make the roads safer for yourself and others this harvest season.