Living Health + Safety – Road Conditions
Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner. It is the signaling to many of us in the Great White North that not only will we be going to and from work in the dark, but our normal circadian rhythm will also be thrown off, making us sleep deprived while. Be mindful of your fatigue levels and try to maintain as much normality in your sleep schedule as possible.
It’s been shown that vehicle collision rates increase immediately following a time change – of course fatigue, darker driving conditions and a good dump of snow certainly don’t help. It will also be harder to see pedestrians covered head to toe to keep warm against colder temperatures, so be alert and mindful as you near intersections.
Be aware of wildlife in roadways and rural areas – deer, moose and other ungulates will be more active in mating season (September to November), and drawn to salt on the roads. Their movements may be unpredictable as they startle easily and slip on pavement. Keep an eye out for unusual lights which may be reflective eyes, and flickering of other headlights, which may be animals passing in front of them.
Slow down, pay attention to signage, and have a collision avoidance plan in mind. Drivers often hit the things they are looking at, so focus on where you need to go. Bear in mind that if collision with an animal is unavoidable, a glancing blow will do less damage so brake firmly and try to strike from an angle. Keep both hands on the wheel so you are prepared for evasive maneuvering, maintain your lights and windshield, and follow the rules of the road. Aggressive driving and tailgating are risky in the best of conditions!
Take your time on the roads and give yourself the best chance to avoid a collision. It’s better to arrive late than not arrive at all.