Weather and The Roads
As the days grow shorter and leaves fall, it’s a good time to review some safety tips for driving this Autumn. The weather can be unpredictable this time of year, so it’s important to be prepared for anything. To stay safe on the roads this season, make sure your car is in good condition. Check your brakes, tires, and windshield wipers regularly to make sure they are in top shape before heading out!
Although Fall is a beautiful time of the year it is also a time when drivers in every type of vehicle need to pay extra attention to safety on the roadway. Recent estimates from the Department of Transportation have placed Autumn as the deadliest season for pedestrian fatalities in auto accidents. There are many cars that will have their eyes on the foliage, rather than focusing on the road. To ensure your safety this Holiday and make sure you get to where you are heading safely, here are some tips for driving during this season!
9 Fall Safety Tips
Here are some Fall driving tips to help you stay safe:
- GET READY FOR LESS DAYLIGHT – With less daylight, it can make things difficult to see. It will get darker sooner, and in the morning- lighter later. Inexperienced drivers riding in the dark may be uncomfortable and feel unsafe driving in the dark causing fear behind the wheel and hesitancy. If you plan to drive in the dark, it is important to know defensive driving and safety techniques. Slow down when visibility is low and make sure to check your mirrors often so that you are aware of what is happening around you.
- LOOK FOR FROSTY ROADS – The risk of frosty roads during fall is higher than in any other season. Ice can form quickly on the roads and in temperatures as high as 36º, so it’s important to pay attention when driving in these conditions. Make sure your tires have enough tread and reduce your speed in potentially icy areas. As temperatures lower with the sun, frost can form on windshields and roads. Slow down when approaching bridges and overpasses as they will collect frost quicker than other parts of the roadway.
- PREPARE FOR SUN GLARE – Be sure to keep sunglasses handy! Sunrises and sunsets can be very bright in the fall and tend to coincide with the morning and evening rush hours. This can cause intense sun glare, making it difficult to see the road. Keep the windshield clean to avoid excess glare. Reduce your speed in bright conditions and be sure to check your mirrors regularly for oncoming cars, motorcycles, or bikes.
- NEVER VEER FOR DEER – Keep an eye out for Bambi! Over 1.5 million deer are hit by cars each year, and the fall season tends to be when the most collisions happen. Deer become more active in the fall as they search for food, water, and mates; so take extra precautions during this time of year. If you come across a deer on or near the road, do NOT swerve around them! Brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel with both hands. Then, come to a controlled stop and move the vehicle out of traffic to a safe location. Watch out for deer that may blend in with the foliage and scenery on the side of the road. When you see one on the side of the road, chances are there is another close by!
- REMAIN EXTRA CAUTIOUS IN FOG – When driving in fog, most people think high beams will help them see better, but this can actually be dangerous. High beams scatter in fog and make it harder to see while low beams will keep the light closer to the ground, helping you avoid any unseen obstacles. If driving in foggy conditions is unavoidable, reduce your speed and leave extra space between your car and other vehicles on the road.
- WATCH FOR WET FALLING LEAVES – Wet leaves can be a hazard for motorists, especially in the fall when they begin to pile up and cover the roads. Wet leaves can make roads slick and reduce traction, making it difficult to avoid hazards such as potholes, animals, and other drivers. So take extra precaution when driving on wet fallen leaves and pay extra attention to your speed and give yourself plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you. Never drive through a leaf pile and do not park your car over a pile of leaves as it can cause a fire from heated elements under your vehicle!
- MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS IN GOOD WORKING ORDER – Check your vehicle’s headlights, turn signals, and taillights. Check your car’s wipers and replace the blades if needed. The heat from the summer can warp cheap windshield wipers causing poor window cleaning and adding glare. Tires should be checked for tread wear and for any debris caught between treads that may become a hazard. A quick walk around your vehicle is a great way to check and keep up to date on any maintenance needed!
- EARLY MORNING DEW – Early morning dew can cause the roads to be slippery, especially when combined with fallen leaves. Morning dew poses a major threat as the road is most slick once the dew starts to form on the road and combines with the oil residue on the road it becomes slippery causing vehicles to slide. Make sure you have a few extra minutes of travel time on those early mornings and reduce your speed in these conditions.
- STAY VISIBLE – Everything from fog to fallen leaves can reduce visibility – so use your headlights, turn signals, hazards, and brake lights to help other drivers see you better. Any time it is drizzling, flurrying, or foggy, it’s important to have on your headlight to help other drivers be aware of you. Make sure that you have your headlights and brake lights functioning properly, as visibility is key to other drivers seeing your car.
We have one more little bonus tip for reading this far! We couldn’t help but also remind you to stay away from puddles as you may not know how deep they are.
How To Make an Impact
Ultimately, it’s important to always remain aware of your surroundings while driving during the fall season. Pay close attention to your speed, animals crossing the road, and other drivers on the road! Remember to buckle up and pay attention to the road at all times. With these tips in mind, you can make sure to stay safe throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok for more road safety tips and tricks for motorsport enthusiasts! Around this time of year, accidents happen more frequently and they can be tragic. That’s why this year after our son Brandon passed away from a tragic motorcycle accident on his birthday, we formed our non-profit organization Gears in Heaven! Gears in Heaven is a nonprofit that provides support to families impacted by motorsport tragedies. We also work to raise awareness of road safety and promote safe driving habits to help reduce the number of accidents on the roads. By making a tax-deductible donation with us, you can help contribute to a safer community for everyone! To learn more about Gears in Heaven visit our website here!
Thank you for your support and stay safe on the roads during this fall season!
Gears in Heaven Team