The Fall season has quickly arrived in Bucks County and our Community Traffic Safety Program is reminding commuters to be prepared as wet leaves, fog, sun glare and even frost are some of the driving hazards they can likely encounter.
As leaves begin to drop from the trees and hit the roadways they can be as slippery as ice when wet. The scattered leaves also can obscure traffic lines and other pavement markings, making driving in unfamiliar areas particularly difficult. Motorists should slow down and use extra caution on leaf-covered roadways.
“As beautiful as Bucks County is this time of year as the seasons change, it’s important that commuters adapt their driving habits accordingly and be prepared,” says TMA Bucks Community Traffic Safety Program manager Carly Wible. “The weather during Fall can change very rapidly so being informed, giving yourself extra time, and knowing what to look for when you are driving can help you avoid crashes.”
Some other common Fall hazards commuters may encounter can be fog and sun glare. When driving in fog, motorists should always use the low beam headlights since the high beam setting creates glare and actually reduces visibility. Another reminder is that Pennsylvania state law requires headlights be on when wipers are in use at any time.
Sun glare can be especially problematic during sunrise and sunset this time of year, which often coincide with morning and evening rush hours. The intense glare from the sun on the horizon can blind a driver, causing an unexpected traffic slowdown. Drivers can prepare for the glare by always keeping a set of sunglasses in your vehicle, removing clutter from sun visors and keeping the inside of their vehicle’s windshield clean.
Morning frost and icy spots on the road can also cause problems as overnight temperatures drop toward freezing. Commuters should pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses and shaded areas on roadways where icy spots can form on the pavement. Motorists should always completely clear their vehicle windows of frost before travel.
“The one thing everyone can do is make sure you add plenty of extra time into your commute schedule so you aren’t rushing to where you are going,” adds Wible. “This is the best way to keep yourself from driving over the speed limit or driving aggressively which you should never do because it increases your chances of getting into a crash.”
The Fall season also brings an increase in deer activity in Bucks County and commuters are reminded to watch carefully for deer darting across and along roadways. By following a few safety tips, motorists and outdoor enthusiasts can help reduce the possibility of being involved in a crash with a deer. Remember to slow down and use caution, particularly where deer crossing signs are posted, and increase following distance between vehicles. Also remember to be especially watchful during morning and evening hours when wildlife is most active and exercise caution when one deer crosses a roadway since deer often travel in small herds. One deer will usually be followed by others.