Keep the Ghosts and Goblins in Your Sights
By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
Fall is in the air and Halloween is just around the corner, trucks are being adorned with spider webs, pumpkins, ghosts and skeletons as people everywhere prepare for ‘All Hallows’ eve. These should serve as reminders that there will be many holiday parties and many people, small ones in particular, will be dressed up in costumes and masks that can oftentimes prevent them from seeing as clearly as they otherwise would be able to. We can never assume that they can, or do, see us, even if we are driving a huge semi-truck! Watch out for trick-or-treaters!
The trees are changing colors and the countryside is putting on a spectacular show before winter changes the canvas to white against the bare trees. On September 27, it was a clear night I was able to enjoy the eclipse and see the rare ‘Blood moon’ in Joplin, Mo. The last time this happened was in 1982 and the next time it will happen is in 2032. One month before Halloween when all the ghosts and goblins come out so the name is appropriate for more than one reason!
On the road, it is a sad fact that during this time of year you have to be aware of people on overpasses that might drop pumpkins, rocks, eggs, and various other objects that could be very dangerous if they hit your windshield. Many years ago, I was driving around Indianapolis on Halloween and was actually hit by a raw egg thrown from an overpass. The ‘tricksters’ probably thought they were doing something funny and relatively harmless but, besides scaring the tar out of me when it hit my truck, it actually broke my windshield, shattering the glass on the passenger side. Had it been the driver’s side, I could have been hurt and in either case this could have caused a major accident. I have never understood what anyone could possibly get out of doing such a thing, but it continues to happen. It seems that people choose to use overpasses where it would be hard for law enforcement to get to them, and by the time an officer could get there the culprits are long gone, as was the case in my incident. Please, use this information to remind yourselves to be extra vigilant watching for this type of hazard!
Speaking of hazards, another thing to be aware of are the changes going on with the deer population. Fall coincides with their ‘rut’ season which means that the bucks are running around like crazy after the does. Also, it is deer hunting season all over the country, different states have different dates for their seasons, but most of them have bow season followed by rifle season. This means that the deer population, which can be a hazard year round, become even more so at this time of year. We need to be extra careful and keep our eyes always moving, ever watchful of their image in the periphery so we can avoid contact with these bounding creatures. A deer can do thousands of dollars of damage to a truck in an instant, or even worse, cause much injury when a driver swerves trying to avoid one. Remember that we not only have to try to avoid the deer, we have to try to avoid the collision the deer causes others. ALWAYS drive defensively.
Keep these tips in mind and you can safely enjoy the fall season!
Stay safe out there and keep it shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.