Fall is full of color-changing leaves, quality tailgating, and football weather. During this busy time of the year, it’s important to keep safety in the back of your mind when driving. It may not be obvious at first, but there are a few things to look out for when driving this fall season.

Rain and Leaves

car covered in leavesExcessive rain can cause hydroplaning — or a loss of traction — but when you add fallen leaves to that picture, the roads become even more dangerous. Wet leaves are slick and can also cause hydroplaning. Fallen leaves can even hide important pavement markings, potholes, and other hazards, as well as stick to your windshield and possibly impair your vision. The leaves may look pretty, but be cautious when driving over them or when the wind is blowing, especially if it’s been raining.

Frost and Fog

With colder weather coming, fog can accumulate in the mornings. Fog limits driving visibility and perception of distance. Keep in mind that fog occurs in low places surrounded by hills, water, trees and mountains. If you’re driving through fog, use your low beams. High beams will create a glare from the fog and will make visibility worse.

Similarly, morning frost begins to occur in the fall. Frost can form slippery, icy areas on the road and leave a wet layer on the surface early in the morning. If it rains during the day, be aware that puddles can freeze overnight and form black ice.

Shorter Days, Darker Mornings

You may have heard the daylight saving’s trick of “fall back, spring forward” when it’s time to change the clocks. When we “fall back” it means our days are shorter and mornings are darker. It can be difficult to see pedestrians, especially children, walking on the sidewalk and crossing the roads. Always double check that your headlights are on when you drive in the morning and look out for pedestrians.

Bottom Line

Fall may be beautiful, but there are still some safety precautions to take when you’re behind the wheel. The weather may not be extreme just yet, but little things such as rainfall and leaves on the ground can cause serious accidents.

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