After Halloween is said and done and we’ve had our fill of spooky fun, we welcome November, a month when the leaves peak in color and winter’s chill begins to sweep across the US. It’s safe to say most people enjoy autumn driving for the natural spectacle the trees put on, however, while the leaves change, so do the road conditions.
As we move through each season, certain driving hazards become more common. As a driver, be prepared for a shift in which hazards will present themselves more often as the weather gets colder.
Four common autumn driving hazards
What are the most common hazards you’ll notice on roadways this season? Here are some of the conditions you are more likely to encounter this fall…and fall driving tips for how to handle each situation should you encounter it.
This time of the year marks the migration of many animals. You may notice flocks of birds headed south, an uptick in deer sightings as rutting season begins, and even smaller creatures like squirrels may dart across roadways more frequently as they run about preparing for winter.
Animals may be difficult to spot among leafy debris on roadways, so it is incredibly important to remain alert, monitor your speed, and keep an eye out for signs marking animal crossings. Be particularly vigilant to avoid hitting deer that may appear more frequently around dusk and dawn.
While mother nature blesses us with a beautiful show each year, as the leaves drop and accumulate on the road, they can become a driving hazard. Leaf piles tend to hold moisture and can cause slipping and a loss of traction for your car’s tires or may even hide potholes. Keep your eyes peeled for piles by looking ahead as you drive and avoid them if you can, otherwise, slow down.
Colder months are accompanied by darkness as daylight hours trickle away and night comes sooner. If you commute to work, you may find yourself driving home in the dark these days. Now is a great time to check your headlights and make sure they are clear and in working order. When it comes to driving safely at night, increasing visibility and alertness is key.
BRRR! It’s getting cold out there. When warmer air passes over cooler air, we get fog. Fall and winter conditions lend themselves to more fog. In this type of weather, you should drive with your low beams and fog lights on, not your high beams. Use the edge of the road and its reflectors as a guide as you drive and reduce your speed until your visibility increases and you can safely go the posted speed limit.
The bottom line.
As a driver, it’s always good to be prepared. By brushing up on these fall safety tips and following them, you can help make the road safer for everyone who uses it. And no matter where that road takes you, we wish you warmth, safety, and smooth drives this fall.