Fall driving dangers

Published by Andria Earnshaw (September 7, 2017)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fall is my favorite time of the year. Many of the things we love about it are also dangers while we drive; like cooler weather, falling leaves and active wildlife.  Driving in autumn is such a beautiful experience, let’s make it a safe one as well, eh?

School Traffic
With school back in session, those big yellow buses are back on the roads in some of the busiest traffic times. Not to mention the increased traffic from parents dropping their kids off and picking them up from school. Being aware of traffic and pedestrians is important, as buses and cars can stop suddenly and children can dart into the roadway. There may also be a lot of new drivers on the road driving to school.

Dropping Temperatures
The later in the year it gets the higher the likelihood of frosts and icy spots on the roads. You’ll want to pay more attention to shady areas, bridges and overpasses as they are more prone to ice forming on the road. You also need to clear your windshield of frost before you drive anywhere. I always keep an ice scraper in my car year-round, that way I’m not surprised on the first frost and have to hunt for it.

Autumn Leaves
They’ll start changing color and falling from the trees as the temperature drops. As beautiful as this is, it’s also dangerous. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice, with or without actually being frozen. They can also obscure traffic lines and other road markings making driving more difficult. You’ll also want to watch for fall color gawkers if you live in any areas popular with tourists. They won’t know the area and may drive erratically.

Beautiful fall weather, with wet leaves on the road. creating a driving hazard. Photo from Pixabay.

Check your tire pressure
The weather in fall often can’t seem to make up its mind, with all those weather and temperature changes your tires can expand and contract causing them to lose tire pressure. Low-pressure tires can have a host of problems, the worst being tire failure or a blowout. It’s a dangerous situation at any speed.

Deer and other animals
Fall is breeding season for deer and they are most active at dawn and dusk, which happens to be around the time many of us are on the road. Things to remember with deer: if you see one there are usually more as they travel in herds; and slow down as soon as you spot one, they often act in unexpected ways.

A white-tailed deer crossing the road. Where there is one, there is almost always more. Photo from Dwight Burdette on Wikimedia.

Have I missed anything or are there some other tips and tricks you’d want to share? Just let me know!

Andria Earnshaw

Andria is a Midwestern girl at heart, though she’s spent most of her life out West. Western Colorado to be precise. Since moving away, she’s really come to miss using the mountains as a guide when giving and getting directions! Her adventure partners are her husband and two dogs who love nothing more than to run. (The dogs love to run, not the husband.) She enjoys reading, hiking and is just getting into photography with her DSLR. You may see some of her photos making their way into her posts, you never know!

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