Whether you prefer to call it “Fall” or “Autumn” or prefer the aroma of pumpkin to that of apple, the season is upon us. By anticipating a few potential hazards on the road, you can make sure your Fall driving stays as safe as possible, allowing you to have more time and energy to enjoy whatever leaf-crunching, bonfire-hosting, or spiced-pumpkin-latte-sipping activities you prefer.
There is a downside to those of us privileged to live where Autumn brings us a rainbow of beautiful colors in the trees. Many of those gorgeous leaves end up on the roads, where they can make traffic lines difficult to detect and roadways just as slick as when they’re iced. They can also hide road hazards, such as larger debris or potholes.
An added potential hazard brought by the colorful leaves is similar to “gawkers” or “rubber-neckers” near an accident site. Autumn drivers can make unpredictable stops or slow down without warning, in order to view the beauty that surrounds them. Watch out especially for anyone with out-of-state license plates, and slow down to give them extra space. Of course, be sure not to get trapped in this kind of behavior yourself. If you want to take your time enjoying the scenery, plan for a walk or drive slowly through a local state park.
You’ll find more vehicles are on the roads this time of year, particularly between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., than there were during the summer months. Increased pedestrian traffic can also slow you down. But instead of becoming frustrated at the inconvenience, you can anticipate it and plan ahead by taking three important steps.
First, plan ahead by leaving extra time. If you don’t have children in school, you can still find out when school days and times will be and plan accordingly.
Second, you can plan ahead by changing your route. If you usually drive near a school or along a school bus route during “crunch time,” feel free to change it up to taking a route less traveled. As an alternative, you could ask your boss about changing your schedule to start earlier or work later, in order to avoid the extra traffic. If you can’t get your work schedule changed, perhaps you could just get there early and do personal tasks like balancing your checkbook or making a grocery list, while you wait.
Third, you can plan ahead by applying defensive driving techniques and being extra-attentive to children who may be present and who might make unexpected choices as they cross a road or walk along a sidewalk. Also realize that school buses are required to stop at train tracks, and you are required by law to obey the attached “Stop” sign attached to that bus; failing to do so could end up earning you a ticket, especially in some districts, where buses are being equipped with video cameras to catch violators.
Continue reading with Part 2.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
Image credits: Top © Sandra Cunningham/Fotolia; 2nd © Sonya Etchison/Fotolia.