OCTOBER DANGERS ON THE ROAD
An article in the Chicago Sun-Times today discussed some dangers associated with driving in the fall. First, the article referenced a recent State Farm Insurance study showing that teen drivers have more automobile accidents in October. According to the article, when October rolls around claims resulting from teen drivers spike 20%. Larry Williams, a Chicago-based State Farm agent, told the Chicago Sun-Times that a number of factors may explain the increase in accidents. “We’re extremely busy at this time of year,” Williams noted. “I think more than anything it’s because it gets dark quicker. The roads are slicker. The weather is changing, with the rain and the leaves.” In addition, as noted in the article, [written by Mary Wisniewski] teens are busier in October, driving to football games, homecoming dances and related school activities.
In addition, the article also noted that the last three months of the calendar year, October through December, is the high season for deer collisions. There are approximately 1.5 million deer/automobile collisions per year. Sadly, more than 150 people per year lose their lives due to collisions with deer.
On-line articles suggested some basic cautions for drivers:
1) Slow down when approaching deer. If necessary, honk your horn or flash your lights to scare deer off the road.
2) Be mindful that the presence of a single deer suggests other deer are nearby.
3) Usually, it is best NOT to swerve around the animal, as a frightened deer may move in exactly the same direction. A better course is to simply brake and continue in the same direction.
4) Be particularly mindful of deer at dawn or dusk. In addition, be wary when approaching a hill or curve.
5) Don’t trust “deer whistles” or ultrasonic deer avoidance systems[?].