Leaves, Sun Glare and More: Fall Driving Tips
Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for some unpredictable weather. Early fall can bring warmer temperatures, but by the time we’re in the midst, there’s leaves falling, fog and sometimes even snow and frost. With all that unpredictability, plus extra traffic from back to school and much more, staying safe on the roads can be daunting. We’re sharing some great fall driving tips that may be a little unexpected:
Back to School. Kids are returning back to school during the fall season, and that can bring not only increased traffic, but school buses on the road and increased pedestrian traffic, especially nearby schools. Make sure you’re obeying all traffic laws and yielding to pedestrians. When driving around schools or areas where there are a lot of children, make sure to drive slowly and cautiously, looking around for anyone who might run into the street.
Daylight Savings Time. When we prepare for the cold winter months by “falling back” our clocks, we have less daylight. That makes it common, especially in the early months of fall, for children and adults to be outside during dusk, when it’s not quite dark but not light, either. Drive extra cautiously during the dusk hours, and maintain the posted speed limits. In neighborhoods with a lot of pedestrians, you may want to drive even more cautiously. If you’re a pedestrian out and about during dusk, make sure you are cautious as well. Wear bright clothes and carry a flashlight in case you’re still outside when it gets dark.
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Be Prepared for Unpredictable Weather. Fall is a beautiful time of year, but with it, it can bring warm temperatures right alongside cool ones, plus rain, fog, frost and sometimes even snow! Plus, don’t forget about the slippery wet leaves on the ground. Now is a great chance to perform routine maintenance tasks on your car to get it ready, including things like:
- Fixing chipped auto glass, as cold temperatures can cause cracks to spread
- Replacing the windshield wipers if need be
- Checking tire pressure, getting tires aligned and balanced if needed
- Check all filters
- Check brakes and replace brake pads if necessary
- Check your lights to ensure they’re all in working condition
The most common type of weather in the fall is rain, which can make visibility tough when driving, and can also make all the leaves on the ground slippery, which in turn can cause hydroplaning. When driving on slippery, wet roads, be extra cautious, avoiding big puddles if possible, and driving slowly. Do your best to avoid quick movements of the steering wheel and don’t brake suddenly unless you absolutely have to.
Clean your Car. Keeping a clean car isn’t a safety tip just for fall, but it can be extra helpful this time of year, as the sun can cause a big glare at times. Make sure your sun visors are clear of clutter so you can flip them down quickly and your windshield is clear of streaks or dirt. A clean windshield is one that can keep you safe!
Looking for additional fall driving tips, including how to stay safe from deer and fog? We’ve got plenty more here.