Fall Back is Approaching! AAA Cautions Drivers of Seasonal Hazards

Sunset over desert mountains

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 3, 2016) – AAA Tidewater Virginia reminds drivers of the potential dangers the new season carries with it.  Along with its brilliant landscape, autumn also brings changing patterns in sunlight, fallen leaves and active wildlife.

The sun will cast new shadows over drive time as light begins to shift prior to daylight saving’s final sunset. With the sun’s lower position, drivers are likely to experience more glare during morning and afternoon commutes. Safety experts cite sun glare as the cause of many motor vehicle accidents. The glare is from either driving directly into the sunlight, or reflected light from a vehicle, roadway or other surface.

AAA Tidewater offers the following tips for motorists to reduce the risk of sun glare:

  • Drive cautiously and leave a proper distance to ensure ample reaction time.
  • Make it a habit to lower visors, to help block some of the reflected light.
  • Avoid using high-gloss vinyl cleansers on dashboards.
  • Keep the car windshield clean and the windshield washer fluid reservoir full.
  • When possible, take an alternate route lined with trees or tall buildings in lieu of one with extreme glare.

AAA urges drivers to be aware of the season’s fallen leaves as well. After they have brightened the skyline, many leaves make their way to roadways. When leaves become wet or pile up, they present a number of hazards including lack of traction for stopping and starting, hidden potholes and markings, and compromised steering.

A more spontaneous danger is deer as they head out at dawn and dusk for food and fun during mating season. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer collisions are much more likely to occur during the last three months of the year and in the early evening. November is the height of the mating and migration season for deer more so than any other month.

“Keep in mind, deer can run as fast as 40 miles per hour. They may suddenly bolt onto the road, catching motorists off guard and resulting in serious vehicle damage, personal injury, or even death,” Georjeane Blumling warned, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia.

AAA Tidewater Virginia offers the following tips for drivers:

  • Buckle up and do not speed. A decrease in speed gives you more time to react.
  • Be observant. Look for deer-crossing signs indicating areas where deer frequently travel. Deer are creatures of habit and may often use the same path again – remember where you see them.
  • Be alert. A deer standing near a roadside may suddenly run across the road. Slow down and use your horn to scare the deer. Never shine or flash your vehicle’s lights. This can cause the deer to fixate on your vehicle. Use high-beams for greater visibility.
  • Look for groups. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one crossing the road ahead slow down, as there are probably others in the area.
  • Never swerve. Instead, slow down and brake. Swerving can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and strike another vehicle or object along the roadway.
  • Do not rely on devices. There is no conclusive evidence that hood-mounted deer whistles and other such devices work.
  • Slow down. If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, AAA recommends slowing down and releasing your foot from the brake before impact. This will raise the front end of the car during the crash and increase the likelihood that the animal will go underneath the vehicle instead of through the windshield.
  • Do not try to move a deer. An injured deer might panic and seriously injure a Good Samaritan. Call police or animal control for assistance.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia