Many people think that winter is the most dangerous time of the year to drive but fall can be just as dangerous. Depending on where you live, the weather during fall can be unpredictable and can increase your risk for an accident. It is important to remain alert and practice safe driving. Get started by following these fall driving safety tips.
Kids. In the fall, school is back in session, which means not only more bus and car traffic, but more pedestrian traffic as well. Especially in school zones around the time kids are arriving to and leaving school, keep your eyes peeled. It is also important to follow school zone speed limits.
Leaves. If you live somewhere where it is common for leaves to fall on the road, be extra cautious when moisture is also added to the mix. Damp leaves can be as slippery as ice so if you are driving on a road plastered in leaves, slow down and make sure to stay in your lane. You can ensure your car is best equipped to handle damp conditions by tending to your tires. Sufficient tread and proper tire pressure will help keep you safe.
Related: Stay Safe Driving in the Rain
Animals. Autumn also brings an increase in animal activity, particularly deer. If you live in an area that has a large deer population, be vigilant as mating season produces an increase deer activity. You are 3.5 times more likely to hit an animal in November than any other time of year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If you are driving and see one deer, there are likely more nearby, so slow down and use caution.
Sun glare. With the change in daylight hours, sun glare can become a dangerous nuisance in the fall. In case you experience intense sun glare while driving, make sure to always have a pair of sunglasses handy. It is also advised to keep your windshield clean and streak-free to avoid contributing to the glare. Approach traffic lights carefully as sun glare can make it more difficult to see traffic light changes.
Frost and fog. Dramatic changes in temperature throughout the day can lead to frost and fog, which can create dangerous driving conditions. Keep in mind that frost and ice can form on bridges, overpasses, and shaded roads even when the rest of the road is unaffected. Fog usually occurs in low places or areas surrounded by hills which can greatly limit your visibility and perception of distance. Drive slow and maintain a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Keep your headlights on low when driving in the fog (and rain) to reduce glare.
As always, please stay alert and enjoy the road ahead.