The fall season has officially arrived in Bucks County and TMA Bucks is reminding commuters to be prepared as wet leaves, fog, sun glare and even frost are a few driving hazards they will likely encounter the next several weeks.
As leaves begin to drop from the trees and hit the roadways, they can be 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.
“Bucks County can have extremely unpredictable weather conditions in the fall, so it is very important as a driver to be prepared for anything,” said TMA Bucks Community Traffic Safety Program manager Carly Mannon. “With all the uncertainty and the possibility for weather during the fall to change very rapidly, being prepared, informed and knowing what to look for when you are driving can help you avoid unnecessary weather-related crashes.”
Other 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 flare and actually reduces visibility. Another reminder is that Pennsylvania state law requires headlights to be on when wipers are in use at any time.
Sun glare can be most problematic during sunrise and sunset this time of year, which often coincides 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 the 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.
“Making sure you build plenty of extra time into your trip schedule so you aren’t rushing to your destination is the best way to keep yourself from driving over the speed limit or driving aggressively,” said Mannon.
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.