It’s safe to say fall is one of the best seasons: the temperature is ideal, the trees are bursting with color, football is on TV, and the smell of pumpkin spice lattes are in the air (#basicalert). But what’s not safe, are the roads that become increasingly more dangerous with every fallen leaf- especially after it rains. So, to make sure you enjoy autumn in its full form and can still cruise around town after the Friday night game, we compiled a few tips on how to stay smart when the roads get messy.
Here’s why we’re concerned. When leaves pile up and become wet, they cause the road to become slippery- almost like driving on ice (this only worsens when the temperature drops and the wet leaves freeze over). Asides from the slip factor, piles of leaves cover the painted roads, making it difficult to spot lane markers, potholes, and speed bumps. Our advice?
- Reduce your speed when driving on roads covered with leaves and take your time with your turns.
- Give yourself more distance than usual when coming to a halt behind another car. Just like in ice or snow, the leaves can cause your wheels to lose traction and slip even after you’ve braked.
- Clean your windshield wipers before getting into the car to make sure none are stuck behind the blades.You want to make sure these are leaf-free in the case that it starts to rain and you’ll need full visibility through the window.
- Be extra cautious of children near the road. Kids are likely to be playing in the leaves outside of their homes in the fall, so avoid big piles of leaves and go extra slow in residential areas.
- Avoid the chance of a fire hazard from the exhaust system by parking your car in a leaf-free or at least lightly leafy spot.
In addition to following these safety tips for driving in leaves, you should also be reminded that in the fall, you begin to lose extra hours of daylight and will be driving in the dark more often. Adjust to this by easing into night driving, keeping your lights in good condition, and being extra cautious of pedestrians that you could see better when it was still summertime.
But don’t get us wrong, we love leaves. Our #1 tip? Park the car and go for a nice walk in the woods. It won’t disappoint.