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Watch Out! Fall Driving Safety Tips

As the kids head back to school and the leaves begin to change, remember these fall driving safety tips.

Back to School

Lookout for Kids

With school back in session, there are a few fall driving tips you should follow to help keep everyone safe. Be careful backing out of your driveway and stay alert while driving through your neighborhood. There could be more kids out walking or riding their bikes to and from school.

Know School Bus Laws

It’s a good time to review the school bus laws in your state.

  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that a bus is preparing to stop to pick up or drop off children. You will need to slow down and prepare to stop.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop-arm indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Stop a safe distance away and do not start again until the red lights stop flashing, the stop sign has been folded back and the bus begins to move again.

Remind Your Kids

Here are a few fall safety tips to review with your kids who ride the bus.

  • Stand at least 6 feet away from the curb while waiting for the bus.
  • Wait until the bus stops and the driver says it’s okay to step onto the bus.
  • If you cross the street, walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross in front of it.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Make sure you can always see the driver.

Harvest Season

Tractor Drivers

Protect yourself and others on rural roads and follow these fall driving tips around farms. And be careful when you have your farm equipment in tow.

  • Watch for potholes or obstacles that could tip the tractor.
  • Listen for cars, as vehicles can approach from the rear at 3 to 4 times the speed of the tractor.
  • Slow down for sharp curves or when going downhill.
  • If you’re traveling on a public road at 25 mph or less, use a Slow-Moving Vehicle (SMV) Sign.

Auto Drivers

It only takes five seconds for a motorist moving 55 mph to close a gap the length of a football field with an approaching tractor moving 15 mph. A few fall driving safety tips can help you avoid accidents. Learning how to share the road will keep both tractor drivers and you safe.

  • Slow down when you see a piece of ag equipment. Most large equipment is only designed to travel at 15-25 mph.
  • Watch for a SMV sign.
  • Watch for hand signals from the driver of the equipment. Just because a tractor veers right doesn’t mean it’s pulling over for you to pass. The bigger the equipment, the more space needed for a wide turn.
  • Pass equipment cautiously. The turbulence created by your vehicle could cause the machinery to sway or become unstable.
  • Remember that the ag vehicle or equipment operators have a right to drive on the road.

Bonus Fall Driving Safety Tips

Here’s how to handle wet leaves, sun glare and other hazards this fall.

  • Don’t brake on leaves. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice. Drive slowly through them and avoid hard breaking.
  • Avoid sun glare. Grab a good pair of sunglasses and keep your windshield clean. During the autumnal equinox, in the first 15 to 45 minutes after sunrise and before sunset, the sun is perfectly aligned with the east-west roadways.
  • Be careful on bridges. As the temperature begins to drop, morning frost can leave icy patches on bridges, overpasses or shaded spots on the road.
  • Watch out for deer. Fall is the beginning of deer breeding season, and they can be more active near the road. Deer are most active during sunset and sunrise, so be extra watchful driving near the woods and near deer crossing signs.

Follow these fall driving tips for an accident-free season. The changing of seasons is a great time to reach out to your Farm Bureau agent to review your coverage and make sure you are ready and protected.  

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