In autumn, depending on where you live, everywhere you look could be a Kodak moment. Changing leaves with their beautiful hues are a sight to see, but once they fall to the ground, or get wet, they can create treacherous driving conditions. Wet leaves can cause a vehicle to lose traction and this can lead to skidding, hydroplaning, just a total loss of control. Fallen leaves can also obscure road markings, curbs, potholes and dips. Don’t ‘leaf’ nothing to chance, avoid autumn road emergencies by following these safety driving tips:
• Wet leaves on the road are a red flag, so slow your roll. Hard acceleration or sudden braking and sharp turns should be avoided when traveling over wet leaves. Give yourself more stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you when the ground is wet in order to avoid an unwanted metal connection.
• Fall can also be quite a damp time with rainy or foggy mornings and evenings. We also change our clocks during this time, and that means you may lose visibility on the roads more often. Turn on your headlights during dusk and dawn. FYI, low beam headlights aim the light down toward the road making it easier to see; high beams will only cause glare.
• During fall, deer tend to want to get their freak on, so you might wind up encountering one or two–especially during dusk and dawn. If you see a deer on the side of the road, reduce your speed and proceed with extra caution. Keep in mind, deer like to hang with their buddies, so if you see one, more than likely, there are more to come and they tend to dart out into traffic.
• Intense sunrises/sunsets and fall go hand in hand, and sure, we marvel at their beauty but when driving, not so much. With the beauty of the brightness comes extreme sun glare that can impact your visibility when behind the wheel which means difficulty seeing the road ahead. Battle the brights by using your visor, putting more distance between yourself and the vehicle up ahead and keeping a pair of shades in your glove compartment.
• Avoid parking over a pile of dry leaves! Bet you didn’t know, dry leaves can very well ignite from a vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system coming into contact with them.
• Make sure to keep your windshield clean, inside and out, free of smudges and streaks that can compromise visibility especially when the sun is at its brightest. Make sure your wiper blades can still swipe appropriately, and if not, replace them.
• Never drive through a pile of leaves because kids love to burrow down into them as they play hide and seek.
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