You can feel the temperatures dropping and the leaves are beginning to change – hooray! With the joys of autumn also come some pitfalls especially when it comes to driving. Here is a list of 4 fall driving dangers and how to stay safe.
1. Leaves – Are they more slippery than ice?
Although the beautiful changing color of the leaves are wonderful to look at, once they get wet they can be a huge driving hazard. Many people say that “wet leaves are slicker than ice” but is that true?
In the case of ice and wet leaves the culprit that causes your vehicle to lose traction is the water that sits on the surface of these items. It may seem odd but ice actually has a thin layer of water on top of the solid ice that causes a vehicle to slide across it. Due to the fact that a leaf has a slippery surface on both sides of the leaf it does have the opportunity to slip against the road while your tire slips across the other side. This creates a higher likelihood of slipping and sliding so although leaves are not necessarily more slippery they may be more likely to cause problems for you when driving.
Another issue that leaves and fall foliage present is that once they fall on the road they can cover up traffic lines, potholes and other road hazards. Who knew those pretty little leaves could wreak such havoc?
Before the fall and winter weather ramp up you’ll want to make sure that you have a set of tires with a good amount of tread on them. If you do find yourself sliding or skidding just remember to take your foot off the gas and do not brake. And, if you see leaves in the road make sure to slow down before driving right on through them!
2. Back-to-School Traffic – More Traffic
Many of us are already used to dealing with the back-to-school traffic but there are a few things that are good to be reminded about. When school starts back there is an increase in vehicles on the roads, which lead to increased traffic jams and accidents.
Make sure you leave yourself extra time, especially in the mornings, to get to where you need to go. There are also increased pedestrians as families and children walk to school or their bus stops and back home again. Please make sure to drive slowly so you can carefully navigate around the buzz of activity.
3. Fog – I can’t see!
Don’t you love fall with its foggy, cool mornings? The temperatures and feeling in the air are a nice change but fog does limit your visibility especially when driving. When driving at high speeds in the fog, hazards have a tendency to pop up on you so you’ll want to make sure to take those foggy mornings at a slower pace than normal.
Please make sure you also use your fog lamps or low beams when driving instead of your high beams or “brights”. Many people think that high beams are necessary due to the limited field of vision but the fog actually creates a mirror of sorts and bounces those high beams right back at you and creates a massive glare. Scary!
4. Sun Glare – The Time Change is Coming
Oh, the time change that we all love. With it comes the new position of the sun that blinds most drivers as they attempt to come home at the end of the day. We recommend a couple of things to combat the blinding sun and glare.
First, we recommend slowing down and following further behind the vehicle in front of you whether it is on the freeway or city roads. This extra time will help you decipher any issues in front of you and react accordingly since sight may be limited.
Sun glare is not just a problem for those driving “towards” the sun but also affects drivers as they drive “away” as it oftentimes reflects off your rearview mirror and can be blinding. We recommend you wear a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and cut the glare down a bit. If you have a manual mirror like the one pictured here then you can click the little tab at the bottom and it will switch the angle of the mirror so you can still see but the lights/sun won’t be so bright.
In summary, it seems that no matter what the driving pitfall is, slowing down is always one of the best ways to drive more safely for you and others around you.
The Telesis Team hopes you enjoy the cooler nights and mornings as fall descends and wishes you happy and safe driving all year round!
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