Although we hate to admit it, summer is almost over and autumn is on the horizon. The fall season is beautiful, but it brings extra hazards to the road. School traffic, unpredictable weather, and deer are just some extra things drivers need to worry about. With these factors in play, it is important to take extra precautions while driving. Not every accident is preventable but knowing what to look for can help you out in the long run.

School Traffic: School is back in session which means 55 million children will head to school each week. Whether they travel by bus, car, bike, or are walking – drivers need to be extremely vigilant. Here are some tips to make your daily commute as smooth as possible.
  • School Zones: In the morning and afternoon hours, school zones are especially busy.  Speed limits are lower in school zones for a very good reason. “A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.” (AAA)
  • Buses:  “Be sure to stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing, or the bus driver signals it’s OK to pass.” (Corsicanadailysun.com)
Weather: One day it’s a hot fall day, and the next is cold and rainy. Autumn weather is truly unpredictable, so as a driver, you must be prepared for the worst.
  • Leaves: If you come upon a pile of wet leaves on the road, make sure that you slow down for them. They can cause your tires to slide and that could potentially cause an accident.
  • Sun Glare: Around the time of the autumnal equinox, driving may be more difficult due to the sun. From 15 to 45 minutes after sunrise/sunset, the glare from the sun may be so bright that it makes driving tough. During these times of day, try driving north/south if possible, and be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Bridges: With dropping temperatures comes frosty mornings. Frost will often build up on the roadway, leaving icy patches. Approach bridges with caution in order to avoid potential accidents.
Wild Animals: “Watch out for deer. Autumn marks the beginning of deer breeding season and they will be more active in areas near the road. Deer are most active during sunset and sunrise so be extra watchful when driving near the woods and near deer crossing signs.” (Stonewall Agency)
  • Stay Alert After Spotting Deer: Because deer travel in packs, it’s imperative that if you see one, you look for others.
  • Do Not Swerve: If a deer walks/runs in front of your vehicle – DO NOT SWERVE. By doing this, you put yourself in a position that could harm yourself and others.
  • Night Driving: If there are no other vehicles around you, turn on your high beams. This will give you better a better view of your surroundings and potential animals that could get in your way. Just remember to dim them if an oncoming vehicle is within five hundred feet away from you.

We know that some of these tips may seem obvious, but it never hurts to have a little refresher. Drive safely!

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