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Fall brings so many wonderful things like a reprieve from the summer heat, scenic views, pumpkin spice latte, sweaters; the list is endless. Who doesn’t love fall? Fall driving is a different animal, and here we offer some important tips to keep you, your loved ones, and your vehicle safe.
School Is In – Smile for the Camera
Children return to school in the fall, marking the increased traffic of school buses, crossing guard presence, enforced school zone speed limits AND the expansion of the New York City School Zone Speed Camera Program. The program, part of the Vision Zero safety initiative, launched in 2014, reports a decline in school zone related traffic deaths of 30%-45%.
Drive carefully, mind the cameras, and slow down. The blind curve you race through in the summer may have a loading school bus at the end. Be aware; allow extra time for your commute as you may have extra stops while yielding for loading and unloading school buses.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
With fall comes more rainy weather forecasts. Be careful driving in the rain, especially during early Fall. Water pools on top of the dust and oil that haven’t had a chance to wash away, making the pavement more slippery than you may expect. Drive at slower speeds and take special care when driving on newly wet pavement.
Take It or Leave It
The fall foliage may be breathtaking to behold but also presents some driving challenges to consider. Leaves shed on roadways, creating slick spots and obscured pavement markings. Potholes can also be covered, creating an additional hazard. Wet leaves can be just as dangerous as ice. Sightseers can also be parked, sometimes haphazardly, while taking in the scenery. Take care when braking on leaf-filled roads and allow for unexpected, parked vehicles.
How Glare You
The leaves and wet spots make fall a bad time for sun glare while driving. Glare can be a problem whether the sun is directly in front of you or behind you, bouncing off your rearview mirror. Glare can “blind” you for a split second after exposure while your eyes adjust, leaving increased opportunities for accidents or near misses. Glare can also make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to see traffic lights and road signs. When faced with a glare-filled trip, slow down and consider wearing special eyewear. Glasses with an anti-glare, or anti-reflective coating can help improve your vision during both bright and dark conditions.
In a Fog
With the change in temperature and increased precipitation comes fog. While driving in fog, your distance perception and visibility can be limited, especially around low places, hill bottoms, and on roads along the water. Many drivers think these conditions can be remedied by turning on high-beam headlights, however, this is a mistake. Stick with your low-beams, as the high-beams just increase the glare as the light bounces off the fog. Slow down and don’t follow the car ahead too closely, allowing extra time for sudden stops.
Doe A Deer
Over the past ten years, the deer population in Staten Island has “exploded” according to The Wall Street Journal. Significant effort has been made to reduce the size of Staten Island’s deer population with the New York state-sponsored deer-vasectomy program, as reported in the New York Post. Though the state has spent $4.1 million on the program, deer-related auto accidents are still common and frequency has reached an all-time high. There were 103 deer-related crashes in 2018, representing a 4% increase over the previous year. Not surprisingly, critics question the effectiveness of the program.
With the area deer population on the rise, extreme caution is advised during the fall due to an increase in deer activity as the mating and migration season begins. If you travel on roads in deer-heavy areas, watch for darting deer, especially at night. Slow down and be prepared for sudden stops. And remember, if you see one, there is likely another.
It’s not quite time for him to be nipping at your nose but he will make a routine appearance as the temperatures drop significantly at night. If you awake to your car with frosted or foggy windows, adjust your driving, particularly in the early morning. Slow down and be aware of slick spots on bridges, overpasses, and shaded roads.
Straightline Collision is dedicated to you and focuses on providing the best customer service regarding your auto body needs during what can be a stressful time. Our team strives to make your visit as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Should you find yourself in need of collision repair services, stop by for a free estimate at 2912 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309 or call us at 718.966.8900 Monday through Friday from 7:30am-5:00pm to speak to our expertly trained staff.