The troublesome combination of long drives and a short amount of time can be deadly, especially with the changing seasons. In order to avoid becoming another statistic, drivers are urged to get plenty of rest before driving, avoid alcohol, and wear seat belts at all times.
To make matters worse, the upcoming holidays coincide with the firearm deer season. Hunters will add to the number of drivers on the road during the high-travel holiday, and a large deer herd combined with high traffic creates a high probability for collisions. In fact, in 2011, eight people lost their lives in deer-vehicle accidents which totaled 53,592 crashes with 1295 injuries.
The best way to avoid such an accident is to slow down and drive cautiously while heeding deer crossing signs. Deer tend to travel together: if you see one, chances are others aren’t far behind.
With the impending winter weather, the Indiana Sheriff’s Association suggests the following safety tips to ensure safe travel: check tires, brakes, and fluids before embarking on a trip; buckle up and make sure your passengers do the same; reduce speed in snow, sleet, and rain; allow plenty of braking space in wet weather; lightly pump brakes on wet roads when slowing down; don’t take unplowed roads; and avoid distractions.
To prepare for the inevitable, always carry a map of the area, bring water, flashlights, and candles, and don’t forget your ice-scraper. Carry a package of kitty litter in case your car gets stuck for extra traction, make sure you have a spare tire, and bring a small shovel – just in case. Bundle up, carry an extra blanket in your car, and don’t leave home without matches and flares. Finally, a cell phone can go a long way to keeping you from freezing on the side of the road when your car breaks down.