Opinion: See and be seen

Injuries and accidents are a familiar theme as the days shorten and the weather turns.

The arrival of fall and the return of rainy weather

The arrival of fall and the return of rainy weather

The weekend rain, coupled with the return of students to school, has added urgency to our need to shake off those lazy summertime driving habits.

There are more cars on the road, cyclists in the bike lanes and pedestrians in the crosswalks. Days are getting shorter and the rain, in addition to making it darker, makes it more difficult to stop.

So let’s remember a couple points.

First, be seen. This doesn’t only apply to cyclists and pedestrians. High visibility clothing, lights and reflectors can make a world of difference on a dark evening. But motorists, too, can ensure they’re being seen as well. Daytime running lights help, but they’re no good for the people behind you. Headlights, on the other hand, have the added advantage of lighting up the tail lights – perfect for when rain and heavy mist cut visibility from behind.

And on the topic of lights, remember to signal. Those devices are perfect tools for telling other drivers your intentions. They’re particularly useful in Chilliwack’s roundabouts, where a simple signal can tell other drivers when it’s safe to proceed.

And remember the rain. The first rains of the year often create the slickest conditions because of the oil build up on the road. So slow down, and give yourself extra room to stop.

Pedestrians and cyclists also need to take extra care this time of year. Reflective vests, and LED lights can help cut through the early autumn gloom.

But they’re not enough. They can’t replace caution and vigilance: be aware of your surroundings, and make eye contact with the drivers around you.

Injuries and accidents seem a familiar theme as the days shorten and the weather turns.

But a little caution goes a long way toward keeping you and the people around you safe.