In Kansas, nearly 20% of the year’s motor vehicle collisions occur in the months of October and November. Here are seven Fall driving safety tips for 2018 that will help keep you safe on the road.
- Be prepared for shorter days:
- – A minute of daylight is lost every day of October. We’ll be facing more glaring sun on the morning drive to work and more nighttime driving as we head home. Both conditions can impair your ability to see clearly. Keep a pair of sun glasses handy to avoid the morning glare and be prepared to use your headlights when driving home.
- Prepare for weather changes:
- – During the Fall, the weather can fluctuate from bright and sunny to dreary and wet in a matter of minutes, especially in Kansas. Slow down at the first sign of precipitation and decreased visibility. Use your headlights on the low beam setting to avoid the glare, particularly when traveling through rain or fog.
- Get your car ready for the Fall weather:
- – Remember to clean your windshield often. Dust streaks and smudges will be brighter when lit up by sunlight. Because rapid changes in temperature impacts air pressure, check your tires for loss of pressure every 7-10 days.
- Keep watch for slow-moving motorists:
- – With enjoyable Fall weather and beautiful colors, motorists are more likely to be traveling at a slow pace. The heavy fall of leaves and foliage can also obscure pavement markings, traffic lines, and potentially hazardous road conditions. Drive slowly to give yourself and others more time to react and to prevent collisions.
- Prepare for the effects of dropping temperatures:
- – Low night temperatures lead to frosty windshields, foggy mornings, and ice-covered roadways. Give yourself some additional time in the mornings to be sure your windshield is fully defrosted. Pay special attention when approaching bridges, overpasses and shaded portions of the road that are more likely to be icy.
- Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and school zones:
- – The crisp fall weather brings additional pedestrians and cyclists to the roads. School buses, rushed parents and excited kids are also out in full force during the fall months. As the number of people on the road increases so does the risk of collisions. Be especially cautious when driving close to curbs or school zones, specifically in the morning or late afternoon hours.
- Watch out for animals in the road:
- – In addition to increased traffic and pedestrians, animals, especially deer, are active at this time of the year. Motorists are 4 times more likely to hit a deer in November than in any other month of the year. Be alert for animals darting into the roadway particularly at dusk when visibility is low. Slow down when driving by heavily wooded areas and deer crossing zones. If you spot an animal, avoid swerving, keep both hands on the steering wheel and brake firmly. In case of a crash involving an animal, call the police. An injured animal can get aggressive and defensive. It is not advisable to try to help a wild animal on your own.
Fall is the time for family gatherings, football games, off-season office trips, trick or treating and many other fun activities. Use these fall driving safety tips to make sure that you and those around you have a safe autumn.