Tips for Fall Driving
Don’t be so busy guzzling your pumpkin-spice lattes that you’re unaware of the driving dangers a change of season poses, even on all-too-familiar roads! Let’s explore the pitfalls that befall you in the fall, so you can be safe…
More vehicles on the road, buses with frequent stops, parents with hectic schedules, and increased pedestrian traffic – heightened awareness is necessary!
During the first rain of the season, water can pool over dust and oil. It could create a slippery spin down the street!
Fallen leaves slick the asphalt and obscure traffic lines, as well as pesky potholes. Wet leaves can be as perilous as ice!
Wherever the colors are changing, there are leaf peepers there to “ooh” and “ahh”. They inch along at a snail’s pace and make random stops without proper notice – all for the sake of a photo. Out-of-state plates are a dead giveaway, so back off in case they stop short on you.
When the fog rolls in, mornings have low visibility. Low-lying areas or places surrounded by water, hills, and trees are more susceptible to the mist. Slow down, keep a decent distance from the car ahead of you, and use low beams through fog. High beams simply bounce off the fog and create glare.
If temperatures drop drastically overnight, you will notice frost. This means icy spots on the pavement! Be especially cautious on bridges, overpasses, and shady areas of the road.
Sun glare can impair your vision for several seconds after exposure, making it almost impossible to notice pedestrians, traffic lights, and other vehicles. Being “blinded” after exposure can lead to accidents or near-misses. It can also be problematic when the sun sets behind you. Sunlight can bounce off your rear view mirror or reflect off the traffic lights of the automobile ahead and blind you temporarily until your eyes adjust.
Fall is mating and migrating season, so be on the lookout, especially at night!
- Drive a bit slower, especially around school buses
- Keep distance between you and the car ahead on rainy or foggy days, during dawn or dusk, and on wet leaves – you need reaction time
- Keep headlights on low in the fog and rain
- Clear frost from windows to improve visibility
- Approach traffic lights carefully in high sun
- Avoid washing and waxing products that increase gloss – they magnify sun glare
- Clean windshields inside and out – streaks, dust, and smudges are illuminated by sunlight
- Watch for wildlife in early morning and evening hours
- Check tire pressure – rapid temperature variations leads to loss of tire pressure