As the end of October and Halloween approaches and the leaves fall from the trees, you should remember to exercise additional caution as you drive about Maryland. The coming of winter means the number of hours of daylight will continue to shrink and more of your driving will involve the use of headlights.
Also of concern is the fact that sunrise and sunset now coincide with many commuters’ drives to work and back home. Glare caused by the sun on the horizon can blind drivers and lead to sudden slowdowns on every type of road.
You should slow down at this time of day, leave an adequate amount of following distance and make sure you visor is in position to block the sun when you round a corner and suddenly find your vision compromised by the sun directly in your face.
You should also beware of deer in the fall, with November being the month when collisions are most likely. Deer predominate in rural areas, however, they are found throughout Maryland and collisions can happen anywhere. Deer are most active near dawn and particularly around dusk, so be vigilant at those times of the day.
Maryland ranked 17th in likelihood of a deer-car collision, but our neighbors West Virginia and Pennsylvania ranked first and second respectively, so if you are driving in western Maryland, it may be a good idea be even more alert to the potential for deer on the highway.
If you are faced with a deer darting across the road, don’t panic and attempt to swerve to avoid the animal. You risk the loss of control of your vehicle in the maneuver and crossing the centerline into oncoming traffic or running off the road, where you could strike a utility pole or tree.