Fall driving hazards: schools, farming, changing weather


Driving in the fall creates a new set of seasonal risks for drivers. From shorter days to increased road obstacles, drivers need to be on guard for fall-related hazards and know how to prevent a crash. Read the information below about various fall driving hazards and decide how you can improve your driving techniques.


The fall season brings shorter days and reduced visibility while driving. This can affect your depth perception, sensitivity to oncoming headlights, visual acuity, and color recognition. Driving tips to consider:


  • Avoid driving in the dark when possible.
  • Keep windows and mirrors clean.
  • Slow down to increase perception and reaction times.
  • Be aware of any state regulations regarding turning on headlights



Truck drivers encounter farm equipment on roads more during harvest season. Farm equipment is slow moving and difficult to see around. They have fewer lights, warning triangles, and reflectors that make them less conspicuous. Farm equipment drivers are known to make sudden movements off-road or into fields. When encountering an oncoming, extra-wide farm vehicle straddling the center line, remember, it cannot easily make room. Proceed with caution, and consider the following driving tips around farm vehicles:

  • Watch for highway warning signs indicating a farm crossing.
  • Slow down to avoid a rear-end crash.
  • Be patient and do not pass unless it is safe and legal to do so.
  • Avoid distractions and be vigilant toward the appearance of farm equipment in agricultural areas.


Be mindful of school zones, bus stops, and buses on the roadway, especially in rural areas. Also, look out for parents dropping off and picking up children. Driving tips to consider:


  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws.
  • Avoid distractions (i.e., texting/talking on the phone, which may be illegal in school zones).
  • Use an alternate route to avoid school zones.



Fall brings an increase in deer activity and other animals crossing roads. Remember these safe driving tips:

  • Avoid distractions and be attentive to the road ahead.
  • Slow down to increase perception and reaction times.
  • Do not swerve out of your lane; hit the animal, if needed, to avoid losing control of the truck.


Wet leaves, frost, and freezing rains can make the road slippery and affect the truck’s stopping distance. Safe driving tips to consider are:


  • Slow down and increase following distance.
  • Ensure tires have proper tread depth.
  • Keep brakes properly adjusted.


Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 


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© Great West Casualty Company 2020. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2020. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.