Animals on the Road
Animals on the road are always a possibility. Often, you see the animal too late and don’t have much room to maneuver. If you realize hitting an animal is going to happen, stay calm and avoid slamming on your brakes or swerving suddenly. This could lead to a serious traffic collision. If you strike an animal, attempt to find the owner. If the owner can’t be found, call the Humane Society or the local police department. Do not try to move or transport an injured animal, and never leave an injured animal to die.
Be on the lookout for animals on the road and drive with caution. Anticipating the appearance of animals can help you steer clear of them.
Inclement Winter Weather Driving
Increased risk for accidents is a given during inclement weather conditions. That’s why the best advice when dealing with snow is to avoid driving altogether. If you must drive in the snow, extra safety precautions are necessary.
If you live in an area that gets snowy weather, you should always carry chains in your vehicle and put them on your tires prior to driving in snow. Also steer clear of the shoulder of the road. Snow can build up the most here, and the shoulder is for emergency situations.
Heavy snow can make it difficult to see lane markings, so try to position your vehicle to stay in line with the tracks of other vehicles ahead of you. Speed must be decreased and following distance should be doubled to at least eight to ten seconds. Accelerate and brake very slowly. Turn on your low beam headlights to make yourself more visible to other drivers.
If you are having difficulty with visibility, such as during a white out, pull into a safe parking area if possible. Do NOT stop on the traveled portion of the road.
It’s true, blustery winter weather can be stressful. To best cope, be prepared ahead of time, and stay alert, calm, and patient.
How Drivers Can Prepare
All motorists need to be EXTRA alert today. Halloween ranks the highest for the amount of child pedestrian deaths and reports some of the highest holiday- related DUIs and pedestrian deaths overall. National Safety Council and Trafficschool.com have some quick safety tips for motorists:
Keep an eye out for children who may be darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Children can move in unpredictable ways, especially when you add in the excitement of trick-or-treating and overflowing amounts of candy. Sometimes they are wearing dark clothing or costumes that make them even more difficult to spot later in the evening when it’s darker outside, so drive cautiously. Always enter and exit driveways and alleys with extra care, and never use your cell phone when you are operating a vehicle. It’s also a good idea for teens simply not to drive on Halloween night, because there are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers. And if you are going to be consuming alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver before you even go out. Jot down a cab company’s phone number too, and bring it with you, just in case.
Being prepared and informed will help ensure your Halloween is full of fun and not regrets. So take note, and be sure to remind all your friends and family on how they can have a safe and happy Halloween!