Deer, combines, weather…motorists face many challenges

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Photo courtesy of State Farm

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

It is the time of year when drivers face a lot of challenges and the Missouri State Highway Patrol wants drivers to keep their focus.

Troop H spokesman, Sergeant Jake Angle, points out farmers are wrapping up harvest, firearm deer season has deer on the run, and colder temperatures have already brought snow and ice to the area.

“We talk about driving, 100% of our attention needs to go to the job of driving and not looking at our cell phones and doing stuff like that, because you got a combine out there on the road, a tractor pulling an implement, something like that, and you’re not paying attention; these vehicles moving at slow speeds and you find yourself involved in a traffic crash,” Angle tells St. Joseph Post.

Angle says deer can pose a significant danger to drivers. He advises not to swerve when you see a deer but, instead, hit the brakes and attempt to stop. If you cannot, hit the deer. Angle says that’s better than swerving and causes a more serious wreck.

“Deer are on the move,” Angle says. “It’s their mating season and also just the cooler weather has them up and going and there will be hunters afield who will be pushing them around as well.”

Deer firearm season began in Missouri this past weekend.

Distracted driving has become a growing worry for safety officials.

Angle says it is never wise to text and drive, especially this time of year.

“The average text is 4.6 seconds,” according to Angle. “At 55 miles per hour, you’ve gone the length of a football field basically blind and no one can afford to do that.”

Angle says planning ahead is often the key to a successful, safe road trip. Angle suggests a little common sense goes a long way to making for a successful trip, saying drivers who plan ahead, have plenty of time, and get in a hurry.