Many think of wintertime as the most dangerous time of year to be on the road, with icy, wet conditions and the threat of snowstorms, but fall can be just as dangerous, thanks to the unpredictability of the weather. Along with beautiful colors, crisp weather and delicious pumpkin flavors, fall can bring along with it wet leaves, fog, frost and sun glare – and that can all happen in the same day! Follow our driving tips so you can be extra safe this fall:
Safe Driving: What to Watch Out For
Fall brings a unique set of dangers to the road, so be alert and keep an eye out for:
Leaves. As the leaves begin to fall, they can wreak havoc on the roads by covering traffic lines and pavement markings. In addition, when leaves on the roads get wet, they can be just as slippery as ice. If you’re driving along a road that is covered in leaves, whether they are dry or wet, slow down and drive with extra caution.
Deer. Fall is the breeding season for deer, so you will see them darting across and alongside the road more often, especially between sunset and sunrise. Keep in mind to:
- Slow down and use caution, especially where there are deer crossing signs and especially during early morning and early evening hours
- Increase the following distance between vehicles – don’t tailgate
- Be aware that deer travel in small packs, so if one deer crosses the road, he/she will usually be followed by others
Morning Frost. As the temperatures start to drop and we move toward winter, overnight temperatures can get low enough to cause frost. Those driving in the early morning should pay particular attention to the possibility of frost, especially on bridges, overpasses and shady areas, as those areas can form frost first. It’s also critical to clear windshields and all windows of frost before getting on the road.
Sun Glare. Glare from the sun isn’t the first driving danger you think of when you think fall, but it’s still something to be aware of, especially during morning and evening rush hours. There are simple tricks to battle glare from the sun, and these can be used year-round:
- Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car all the time
- Remove clutter from your sun visor so it can easily be used
- Keep the inside of your windshields clean and streak-free
Fog. Fog is a common problem in the fall, particularly during early morning and evening hours and in areas with hills, mountains, trees and water. Fog can dramatically decrease visibility. To battle the visibility challenges, make sure you are using low beam headlights, drive slowly and cautiously, with plenty of extra distance between you and other cars.