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Fall Driving Safety Tips

Falling leaves, frost-covered mornings, active wildlife, and yes, even that extra hour of sleep are all quintessential parts of the Autumn Season. But these very same things can also mean that driving is especially hazardous this time of year. As temperatures fall, the incidents of accidents rise. But there are some very useful strategies to stay safe on the roads while you celebrate the splendor of Fall:

Oh Deer, Oh My
Deer activity is highest in during their breeding season from October through January. Most accidents, however, occur during the month of November when drivers becoming almost 3 times more likely to hit a deer than any other time of year. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk when deer activity is highest and keep in mind that deer travel in groups so if you see one, it’s most likely others will be nearby. If you see a deer in the road, remember that the phrase “deer in the headlights” is no joke — deer literally become “frozen” or mesmerized by the bright, fixed beams of headlights so use your horn to urge them off the road. Perhaps the most effective means keeping safe during deer season is by simply adhering to the rules of good defensive driving. Slowing down and observing the speed limit while avoiding distracted driving goes a long way in ensuring your safety as well as that of any passengers in your vehicle — and that of any deer nearby.

Darkness and Light
Days become shorter as the weather gets colder, and the change back to standard time from daylight savings compounds the time drivers are on the road in darkness. According to the National Safety Council, 50{babbc178be77080b85919e01e8fc05e4d4cf13798276bf03760b167f5df6e3dc} of accident happen when it’s dark even though only 25{babbc178be77080b85919e01e8fc05e4d4cf13798276bf03760b167f5df6e3dc} of driving happens during evening hours. To avoid mishaps when it’s dark outside, be sure your headlights are aligned properly, in good working condition and clean. This can go a long way in improving vision on the road at night. The change in hours can also create problems with road glare from the sun being low on the horizon. To minimize problems from sun glare avoid washing or waxing your vehicle with products that increase gloss and be sure the windshield is cleaned inside and out to reduce glare. Polarized sun glasses can also help to greatly reduce glare.

All That Glistens…Can Create Dangerous Road Conditions
That glistening frost in the morning, especially in combination with fallen leaves, creates a dangerously slippery road surface for drivers. Slowing down can help tires better manage and maneuver over slippery surfaces but it is also important to ensure your tires’ treads are not worn. You can do this by simply inserting a penny, head down, into the tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is not visible, treads should be sufficient. However, if you can see President Lincoln’s entire head, it is time to replace the tires. Also, ensure that proper tire pressure is maintained in your tires. Colder air can deflate tires and lead to poor handling. Your vehicle’s correct tire pressure can be located on a decal placed on the inside of your vehicle’s door jamb.