It’s common to see headlines about the dangers of distracted driving, whether drivers are texting, talking, or using technology built into the vehicle. However, during fall, drivers face another distraction — the stunning colors of nature. In most parts of the country, autumn offers vivid colors and picturesque landscapes, which unfortunately can be dangerously distracting. Whether you’re on a trip this fall to see the beautiful views or you’re just driving on your typical commute, here are a few things to keep in mind to reduce the likelihood of an accident that leaves you with expensive auto body repair bill.
Safe Driving Habits You Should Adopt this Fall
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Many people think that looking away from the roads for a few seconds is fine, especially if the road is straight and you’re leaving a decent following distance between you and the next vehicle. However, even a few seconds of distraction can be dangerous; the car in front of you could stop, an animal could step into the road, or you could start to drift out of your lane. In fact, did you know that a high number of fatalities occur after a vehicle collides with a tree or object? Check out these stats on Pennsylvania drivers while you’re here!
Your attention should always be first and foremost on driving. Some drivers try to multi-task even more by talking on the phone while looking at scenery, or even taking a picture through the window. This is especially dangerous. One distraction is bad enough; two can dramatically increase your chances of getting hurt.
Stop and Use Pull-Offs to Take in the Scenery
Driving excessively slow, stopping abruptly, or parking on the road can cause severe and even deadly car crashes. No matter how stunning the scene or perfect the photo opportunity, you should never create a dangerous, unexpected obstacle for other drivers. Even pulling most of the way off of the road is not good enough; you need to find a true pullover. Shoulders, pull-offs and even parking areas are typically not hard to find on scenic byways, so there’s really no excuse for slowing or stopping in the road. You should also be looking ahead for places to stop. If you drive without projecting ahead, see a pull-off at the last second, and slam on your brakes so that you won’t overshoot it, a car following behind you might have trouble slowing down in time.
Be Mindful of Other Distracted Drivers
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that if you find the scenery gorgeous and distracting, other drivers do too. This is without even mentioning how prevalent behaviors like texting and driving have become. Many drivers think it is harmless if they give driving less than their full attention for a few seconds; they reason that the other driver can always slow down, steer wide, honk, or otherwise take preventive action. Many drivers overlook the fact that two distracted drivers may not even see their collision coming. So, remember to stay on the defensive — you need to actively pay attention not just to road conditions and layout, but also to your fellow drivers.
Remember that Wet Leaves Make for Poor Road Conditions
Aside from the autumn leaves being a huge distraction, when they’re wet and stuck to the road they can be a whole different problem. Wet leaves make the road conditions less than perfect and prohibit good traction between your car tires and the road surface. If you’re cruising along and checking out the scenery and all of a sudden an animal runs out in the road and you slam on your breaks but the road is covered in wet leaves, chances are you may lose control and end up in an auto collision.
Enjoy a Safe, Accident-Free Autumn
Fall is arguably the best time of the year to go on scenic, explorative drives. However, all drivers must take precautions to keep a relaxing drive from turning dangerous. If taking an especially long and scenic trip, you should bring someone with you and take turns driving to reduce the temptation of the unsafe behaviors described above. Also paying attention to the road conditions will help avoid dangers. By following these simple rules, fall excursions can remain safe and enjoyable for everyone!
Badell’s Collision has proudly served Chester and Delaware Counties with outstanding collision repairs since 2003. With locations in Aston and Malvern, we’re prepared to provide you with exceptional service no matter what kind of damage your car has endured. Stop by one of our shops or use our simple online estimate form. We look forward to helping you!