Fall Season Ushers in Additional Safety Concerns

October 2, 2023

Post by Garrett Johnson, LMCIT loss control consultant

The season is called “fall,” but that doesn’t mean you should let safety and awareness fall by the wayside. With the shift in seasons, there are several potential safety concerns to keep in mind including students returning to school, deer collisions, and fluctuating temperatures.

As Students Head Back to School, Drivers Must Take Added Caution

An elementary age boy walks across the street after riding the school bus.Now that school has resumed across Minnesota, drivers need to be mindful of the school zones and students getting on and off the bus. State law requires drivers to give school buses at least 20 feet of space to allow students to get on and off (Minnesota Statutes, section 169.444, subdivision 1). It also is important to follow the speed limit in school zones as these areas can get busy with pedestrians and bicyclists. Always be mindful of crosswalk laws and safety guidelines:

  • Stop for crossing pedestrians at every intersection.
  • Look in all directions for pedestrians before making a turn.
  • Leave lots of room between your vehicle and pedestrians.
  • Avoid distractions (cell phone, food, radio, etc.) while driving.
  • Look carefully behind your vehicle before backing up.

Avoid Deer Collisions

A deer stands on the side of the road as a car approaches.In addition to being the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is known for being home to a wide variety of wildlife species. Fall is a common time when many of our animal friends begin to make an appearance on our roadways. There were 1,112 crashes involving deer in Minnesota in 2020, according to the Office of Traffic Safety. Here are some prevention practices:

  • Increase awareness at dusk and dawn.
  • Follow all traffic laws (i.e. avoid speeding, wear your seatbelt, drive sober).
  • Scan roadside ditches for deer, coyotes, and various other creatures.
  • Always slow down when you see a deer, as they can be unpredictable.
  • Use high beams at night or when driving in low-light conditions (while still being considerate of other drivers).
  • If you are about to hit a deer, keep your hands on the steering wheel and do not swerve.

Prepare for Changing Temperature with the Proper Gear

Workers in reflective vests cleaning fallen autumn leaves with a leaf blower.We are escaping the hot summer and easing into the cooler fall temperatures. With that, we want to remember the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE). Here are some helpful tips:

  • Dress in layers to adapt to changing temperatures. Try to avoid wearing too little or too much to prevent the possibility of heat exhaustion or cold-related injuries.
  • Visibility is a concern as days get shorter. Make sure to wear high-visibility vests, jackets, and accessories.
  • Wear proper head protection, such as a warm hat for outdoor activities or a hard hat when needed.
  • Fall often brings rain and wet conditions. Wear waterproof PPE such as slip-resistant boots and a waterproof jacket to prevent discomfort and stay dry.
  • Wear proper hand protection to keep your hands warm and functional in cold and wet temperatures.

Have a safe and wonderful fall!