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September 19, 2011

Road Sense in Autumn

Labour Day has come and gone and it’s back to work and school for many of us. And with the daily grind reinstated, we’re also seeing a substantial increase in traffic during our morning and evening commutes.

But that’s not all. The transition into Fall brings darker days and damper weather – a couple of realities that have the potential to compromise our safety on the road.

There’s no better time to consider some road sense ideas tailored to the Fall season:

  • Diminished daylight: each day that passes cuts our daylight by approximately three and a half minutes. The darker days make it more difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Consider changing your route in favour of more well-lit streets. Also, ensure your vision is properly cared for. If you’re uncomfortable driving in the dark, then maybe it’s time to book that vision test you’ve been meaning to book for months. If you already have prescription glasses, be sure to wear them. Also be prepared for later sunrises and earlier sunsets by bringing along your sunglasses to cut the glare.
  • Slick roads: with the leaves changing colour, there’s no doubt that Fall can be a beautiful time of year. But Lower Mainlanders are all too aware that it’s often a damp time of year, too. The combination of falling leaves and wet weather can lead to slick roads. Slow down.
  • Commuter stress: students and workers are back to the grind and traffic volume is at its worst. With the majority of us commuting by car, it’s important to keep our stress levels at a minimum. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider your method of travel and opt for public transit or car pooling? If driving is your only option, minimize your stress by doing the following:
    • Eat a snack to bring up your blood sugar level before getting behind the wheel.
    • Tune into an easy-listening radio station instead of hard hitting heavy metal.
    • Give yourself ample time to get to your destination. Being late can often make the blood pressure rise.
    • Take 5 minutes to de-stress before heading home at the end of your work day.

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