Fall brings new driving challenges
The kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change colors and there's a chill in the air - it's official, fall is here! From frosty mornings to shorter days, the changing seasons can bring new driving challenges. Stay safe on the road this fall by following these helpful autumn driving tips.
Check your lights
Shorter days can mean that more of your commute to and from work may be in the dark. Ensure that you are ready for driving at dawn and dusk by periodically checking your headlights and taillights. If one burns out, don't waste any time getting it replaced.
Clear off your vehicle
Cooler autumn nights can result in a layer of frost on your windshield in the morning. Clear all frost off your windshield, rear window and side windows with an ice scraper or by running the defroster. Be sure to give yourself extra time you need to ensure that you have a clear view of the road.
Watch out for wet leaves
Falling leaves can gather in a pile and create a road hazard. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice; avoid braking on leaves gathered on the road. Fallen leaves can also hide road markings and obscure hazards like potholes and bumps.
Be mindful of school buses
School is back in session and school buses are on the road. Drive with caution when approaching a school bus. While rules can vary from state-to-state, in general, if a school bus has its red flashing lights on and arm extended, you must stop. Be sure that you know your state's rules. Also keep an eye out for children walking to and from school.
That layer of frost that you found on your windshield can also be waiting for you on overpasses, bridges and shaded areas. Treat these areas just like you would an icy road.
Keep your sunglasses handy
Sun glare can make driving your vehicle in the morning and evening difficult during autumn. If you find yourself driving into the glare of the sun, be sure to use your visor and wear sunglasses. A clean windshield, inside and out, can also help improve your view.
Keep an eye out for deer
While deer can be a hazard all year long, the fall breeding season brings an increase in their activity. While driving your vehicle at dawn or dusk, be on guard for deer darting across the road. Deer tend to travel in groups, so if you see one deer, it is likely more are following. When traveling in areas known for deer, slow down and keep a watchful eye on both sides of the road.
Look out for fog
The crisp morning air can cause fog to develop. Fog can appear in low areas and hamper your ability to see oncoming traffic and other things like road signs and traffic lights. Be sure to drive with your low beams and increase the distance between you and other cars.
Fall can bring an increase of rain. Make sure you are prepared by checking your windshield wipers; look for signs of wear or damage like splitting. If they aren't clearing your windshield effectively, change them immediately.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.