Fall is right around the corner bringing falling leaves and cooler temperatures across the country. Something else that it brings, which many of us may be unaware of, is an increased risk for auto accidents. Recent estimates from the United States Department of Transportation have placed autumn as the deadliest season for pedestrian fatalities in auto accidents.
Many factors contribute to this statistic and it is important to be aware of the most common to ensure the safety of everyone on the road this autumn.
- Autumn brings shorter days and more darkness. As autumn goes on and gets closer to winter, the sun begins setting earlier leading to increased night driving. Make sure headlights are on whenever necessary to increase your visibility, as well as making your vehicle more visible to others.
- School zones become active and affect speed limits. Children returning to school necessitate lower speeds in school zones and drivers need to be aware of these decreased speeds to ensure the safety of children arriving or departing from school.
- Driver’s education courses start up and large numbers of young drivers are taking to the streets for the first time. Be aware of younger drivers and allow them the time and space they need to drive comfortably.
- School athletics often have athletes running throughout town. Groups of teammates will be running around town to get in shape for the new season and often times sidewalks are not an option and they’ll run along the streets. Watch for groups or even single runners, slow down and give them space as you pass them.
- Animals preparing for the coming winter will change their habits during fall months. Nocturnal animals will become active earlier with the shorter days and many animals will be crossing roads throughout towns more often than usual. Stay aware and focused to avoid hitting these animals.
Above all else, the most important thing one can do to prepare for these changes is to simply stay alert and focused while behind the wheel. Don’t distract yourself with your phone, food or makeup. Your safety and the safety of everyone else depends on the road getting your undivided attention.
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