Road safety: seasonal risk awareness
Posted by: Cal on 13/05/2013
As a driver it is important to be aware of all road safety dangers so that you can do your best to minimise your own risk and that of others on the road.
Part of good road safety awareness is being alert to seasonal risks.
While autumn isn't a season of extremes like summer and winter can be, there are nonetheless a bunch of things to look out for while driving at this time of year.
Driving through fog can be downright scary, with visibility sometimes reduced to just a few metres.
While it usually strikes around dawn and often lifts after a few hours, fog can turn a simple morning drive down familiar roads into an unfamiliar and dangerous journey.
Because visibility is so poor, it is important to drive slowly when fog strikes and to put your headlights on (though not on high beam). Of course, if you have fog lights, now is the time to use them!
This time of year the sun is lower in the sky and this can mean that in the mornings and evenings you get a full on blast of brightness when on the road.
Not only is this annoying - it can really reduce your visibility and that of other drivers.
It's a good idea to always have a pair of sunglasses on hand just in case the sun visor doesn't quite provide enough shade from this solar blast.
Recently, the RACV noted that the autumn months usually see the highest incidence of insurance claims due to animal collisions on the road.
It's pretty tough to teach road rules to wild creatures so drivers need to do their best to minimise the chance of a collision.
Animals tend to be more active during dawn and dusk, so try to be extra aware around these times.
Of course it is impossible to predict where animals will appear on the road, but by identifying probable danger areas you can adjust your speed and improve the odds of being able to avoid animals safely if need be.
Good spots to take extra care include blind corners or rises and roads that have bush or shrubs alongside where animals may be hiding.
Also look out for road kill as a sign there could be animals in the area.
Don't forget to keep up with tyre maintenance this autumn by regularly checking your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres!