6 best safety tips for driving in the fall

There is no doubt that the fall hues make for lovely rides, but the changing leaves herald changing weather conditions, which can make driving a bit more dangerous. If you live in an area where fall leaves dominate the season, there are a few driving safety tips in the event of autumn that you need to be aware of.

Top tips for safe driving in the fall

If you are unfamiliar with the dangers that can arise when trees lose their leaves, count yourself lucky. But, fall leaves aren’t the only danger during this time of year. You should also be aware that schoolchildren and deer cross the roads, and darker days let your eyes adjust to the low light. Here are some of the best tips for safe driving in the event of a fall:

  • The leaves leave the roads slippery. Roads covered with leaves, especially those wet with dew or rain, can be as slippery as ice. This can pose a serious danger to driving, and you should avoid it as much as possible. If it is not possible to avoid the fallen foliage, you should at least avoid braking suddenly on wet leaves, as this causes loss of traction and increases the chances of skidding.
  • The deer cross. Fall is a prime time for vehicle collisions with deer. Not only is the white-tailed deer breeding season in full swing, deer are also driven from their habitat by hunters, often found on the roads. All of this, combined with low light at dusk and dawn when deer are most active, results in an increased risk of collisions. To safely avoid deer when driving in the fall, slow down, pay close attention to the sides of the road, and use your high beams when it is safe to do so.
  • Never tack for the deer. Tacking has the potential to cause a worse accident. If you can’t avoid colliding with a deer, the Michigan Department of Transportation recommends applying the brakes firmly and holding the steering wheel with both hands as you come to a controlled stop.
  • Changing weather changes your driving. Now is the time to pay attention to your local weather forecast before heading out. Early morning commuters are more likely to encounter frost on the roads, especially where the roads are shaded and on bridges. Plus, sudden thunderstorms can change driving conditions in a flash. Whether it’s raining or snowing, be prepared for a slippery ride and keep a safe driving distance from the vehicle in front of you. Be careful and prepare for the unknown by always keeping a car service kit, jumper cables, and a first aid kit in your vehicle.
  • Shorter days mean more driving in the dark. After the fall equinox in September, you have an increased likelihood of driving in the dark both to and from work. When you have to drive in the dark, it’s a good idea to let your eyes adjust to the low light before you set off. Experts say it takes your eyes several minutes to adjust to the dark.
  • There is a high risk of glare. Glare is actually worse in fall and winter due to the sun’s naturally lower position in the sky. This leads to just the right angle for the sun to have a blinding effect when it hits your windshield. Good polarized sunglasses, a clean windshield, and tinted windows can all help combat the effects of fall glare. But, if you are commuting between sunrise and sunset, it may be wise to avoid east-west routes if possible.

Make sure your car is ready for fall

Along with being extra careful when driving in the fall, you also need to make sure your car is up to your safety. Cooler temperatures and darker days are a good reason for pay attention to your tires and headlights, and more humid weather is a good reason to check your wiper blades.

As temperatures drop, your tires may lose some of their pressure, so be sure to check yours looking low. Tires lose one to two pounds of pressure for every 10 degrees of temperature drop. Remember to check the tire decal on the inside of your driver’s door or consult your owner’s manual for the proper pressure.

Lower lighting, schoolchildren in crosswalks, and more critters crossing the roads are all good reasons to make sure your headlights are also performing at their best. Replace the bulbs if your lights are dim or if you have never changed them and have owned your car for several years. If foggy headlight covers are causing your lights to not shine properly, you can polish them yourself with a fairly affordable kit that can be found in most big box and auto stores.

One more thing to check is the alignment of your headlights. Headlights that are not aligned properly can cause you to miss things in your path. You should ask your mechanic to do this so that yours are properly adjusted.

Is your vehicle broken down?

If your car isn’t up to the task for another change of seasons, fall may be a great time to purchase a newer vehicle. If your credit makes you hesitate to take the plunge because you don’t know where to find financing, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Auto Express Credit knows how to help.

We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers who have lenders available to help people in many types of credit situations. Do not hesitate any longer, get started. Simply complete our online car loan application form and we’ll get to work today to connect you with a local dealership!