Weather conditions can be unpredictable in the fall. A bright, beautiful afternoon can turn rainy and cold in minutes. With the days getting shorter, you could find yourself commuting to and from work in darkness.
Common fall driving hazards
Back to school traffic
Fall means back to school traffic for kids, which means more cars and buses on the roads. Drivers need to watch out for increased pedestrian traffic in the morning and afternoon as children walk to and from school and their neighborhood bus stops.
Rain can be particularly dangerous, as water pools on top of dust and oil that hasn’t had a chance to wash away and makes the pavement extremely slippery.
Cold fall mornings often lead to fog, which can greatly limit your driving visibility and perception of distance. Fog tends to occur in low places or areas surrounded by hills, water, mountains, and trees. One common mistake drivers make during foggy conditions is putting on their high beams instead of staying with their low beams. When driving through fog, slow down and stay well behind the vehicle in front of you so you’ll have adequate time to stop if required.
During the fall, temperatures tend to drop dramatically during the night, which can lead to morning frost and icy spots on the road. This is especially common on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas of the road.
Fall is a bad time for sun glare on the roads. Sun glare can impact your sight for seconds after exposure, making it hard to see pedestrians, oncoming traffic, or the vehicle in front of you.
The fall season brings an increase in deer activity because it’s their time for mating and migrating. Avoid deer collisions by watching for darting deer, especially when driving early in the morning or at night. According to the insurance institute, 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, resulting in 200 fatalities, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. Read more
Mycotoxins in corn are produced when certain molds infect the ears of corn. Molds produce mycotoxins only under certain environmental conditions. Furthermore, not all molds cause mycotoxins, but mycotoxins in corn cannot exist unless molds are present. In fact, thousands of molds are capable of growing on corn, but only a very few species actually produce mycotoxins – and only under certain Read more
Many people travel by car for Thanksgiving.
Keep in mind the following safety tips over the holiday:
- Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
- Be aware of changes in weather. Remember weather can change dramatically from when you start your trip to when you end.
- Long weekends have 18 per cent more deadly accidents than non-holiday weekends.
- Extra police force will be on the roadways this weekend to monitor aggressive, speeding, distracted and impaired drivers.
- Failing to use your seatbelt may be a bigger cause of fatal accidents during long weekends than either driver intoxication or speeding
- Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat.
In addition to road safety, please consider the following:
- Cooking mishaps account for 30 per cent of residential fires in Canada, according to data from the National Fire Information Database.
- Don’t leave your stove or oven unattended and make sure you have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
- If you have a grease fire in one of your pots, turn off the source of the heat and focus on cutting the oxygen supply. You can do so by covering up your pot with a tight-fitting lid, if you have one, or another pot.
- NEVER use water to try to put it out a grease fire! This can cause the grease to sputter and for the fire to spread.
Keep safe everyone, and enjoy this celebratory time of year.
If you ate today, thank a farmer.
Now is the time for field crop harvest, and more motorists will be encountering farm equipment on rural roads, increasing the potential for accidents.
Harvest season generally brings a time when there is an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.
Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment:
- Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
- Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
- Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
- Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
- Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.
Before passing farm machinery:
- Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
- Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.
Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.
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