With fall approaching, it’s hard not to be excited about the cooler weather. But as temperatures change, so do driving conditions. Now is the time to revise car safety to avoid endangering yourself, your passengers and other motorists. Here are nine driving hazards to avoid when you buckle up and hit the road for fall driving:
1. Smooth leaves on the road
Fall leaves are a sight to behold, but if you encounter heaps of them on the road, be careful. If the leaves are wet, they can be as slippery as patches of ice. Additionally, piles of leaves can hide potholes and other driving hazards. Stay alert and move slowly on leaf-covered roads.
2. Children crossing
Fall means back to school and more children crossing the road. According Allstate“Make sure you obey speed limits, and be aware of pedestrians at all times, says NHTSA. And remember: Halloween brings tricks, so be especially vigilant on October 31.
When daylight saving time ends in early November, you may need to travel in the dark. Remember that people will always walk their dogs and go for walks in the evening. Always drive carefully and make sure your headlights are in good working order.
4. Deer and other animals
Always watch out for animals crossing the road. AARP says, “You’re 3.5 times more likely to hit an animal, especially a deer, in November than any other time of year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Deer are likely to mate in November, and that’s why you see more of them.
5. Frost or mist
Cool mornings are refreshing, but they can lead to another driving hazard: fog. Fog can reduce distance perception and visibility. So remember to turn on your fog lights (not the high beams) when you go to work or school.
6. Tire pressure
Tires are a crucial part of your vehicle because they come into direct contact with the road. Regularly check your tire pressure with a portable pressure gauge. You can find the correct pressure taped to the side of your driver’s door or inside your owner’s manual.
7. Sun Glare
Sun glare can be bothersome. That’s why it’s essential to keep a pair of sunglasses handy. Because the sun is pointing closer to the horizon this time of year, it can reflect off other cars and windows. Also, try not to stare into the lights of oncoming vehicles when driving at night.
8. Wet pavements
Wet roads are a driving hazard that can cause hydroplaning. If you have to cross a large puddle, slow down your speed. And if you’re on a busier road, try moving to the drier part of the roadway.
9. Inexperience with your vehicle
If you are driving a new car or a rental car, familiarize yourself with the vehicle before you leave. Ask about safety devices, lights and other controls.
Is falling driving dangerous?
You should have no problem driving in the fall as long as you remain aware of your surroundings. It’s best to make sure your headlights are clean and working properly. Also, replacing your windshield wipers at the end of summer is a good idea as hot temperatures can damage the blades. Finally, consider keeping an emergency safety kit in your car for added peace of mind.
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