Slippery leaves. Dark roads. Prepare for fall driving risks with 17 safety tips

The beginning of fall comes with potential driving risks, including unpredictable weather conditions, slippery roads, decreased daylight, fog and sun glare, according to AAA.

Sandrina Rodrigues

Nov 21, 2023, 8:30 AM

Updated 216 days ago

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Autumn is here! It's the return to colorful leaves, football season and pumpkins.
But, the beginning of fall also comes with potential driving risks, including unpredictable weather conditions, slippery roads, decreased daylight, fog and sun glare, according to AAA.
Prepare for fall driving risks with these safety tips from AAA:

HOW TO DRIVE SAFELY IN DARKNESS

1. As the days get shorter, you will likely be driving in the dark a lot more - be sure to keep your headlights clean and in proper working order; dim or misaligned headlights can decrease your visibility.
2. Always watch for pedestrians walking, jogging or biking through the streets; they may be difficult to see at night if they are wearing dark clothing.
3. Be mindful of children walking to and from bus stops in the morning and afternoon.
4. Fall is also an active breeding time for deer, so travel slowly if you live in a deer-laden area. If you see a deer cross the roadway, expect others to follow, as they often travel in groups.

COLD WEATHER

5. Fall weather can change rapidly from warm to cold, causing roads to ice over overnight. Drive slowly and brake gently.
6. Check your tire pressure daily. Extreme changes in temperature will cause your tires to expand and contract, which may lead to a loss of tire pressure. Before starting your vehicle, clear away any frost on your windows and check that your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.

DRIVING IN FOG

7. When driving in foggy weather, set your headlights to low instead of high.
8. Slow down and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you so that you have ample time to stop if necessary.

AVOID GLARE

9. Autumn’s sunrises and sunsets can cause a large amount of glare, making it difficult to see other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights or the roadway. Clean your windshield inside and out to remove any dust particles, streaks or smudges.
10. Washing and waxing products increase your car’s shine and can magnify the sun’s glare on your car.
11. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle at all times to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays.

WET CONDITIONS

12. Wet leaves pose a serious risk to motorists since driving on them is like driving on ice, AAA says. Before starting your car, remove any leaves from your windshield to prevent them from getting stuck under your wiper blades.
13. Replace windshield wiper blades if they show any signs of wear.
14. When driving during heavy rain, slow down, especially around turns. Wet conditions increase the time it takes your vehicle to come to a complete stop, so keep a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
15. Avoid sudden movements with the steering wheel or slamming on the brake pedal, as these actions may cause your car to hydroplane. If you feel that you are losing control of your vehicle, steer straight and gently release the gas pedal until you feel the tires make contact with the road surface again.
16. Never park your vehicle over a pile of leaves. Doing so may cause a fire to start from your vehicle’s exhaust system or catalytic converter.
17. Check that your spare tire is correctly inflated and has a proper tread.


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