Okay, all you leaf peepers out there -- the most wonderful time of the year is slowly creeping in. Already some trees are starting to display brilliant spots of yellow and red, and soon great swaths of color will sweep the landscape. But keep your eyes on the road! Drivers distracted by nature’s splendor is just one of the fall driving hazards you have to look out for in the coming months.
The changing season brings with it less daylight. Many commuters used to driving home from work in daylight now will be driving home at sunset. Although beautiful, the sunset’s glare can make driving difficult. Invest in a good pair of sunnies to cut the impact. And as you turn onto your street, watch for kids playing in the road or pedestrians out enjoying the fall air. Twilight makes them more difficult to see.
Fall also brings with it much cooler night temperatures. This can affect your morning commute by creating freezing conditions on the road. Watch for ice and potholes, and be particularly cautious of bridges, where ice tends to linger. Decelerating before crossing one is a good practice.
Fall leaves can become dangerous when a heavy rainstorm takes them off the trees. Wet leaves covering the road are slippery and your car may lose traction, especially when rounding a curve. Also, watch out for raked piles of leaves and avoid them. Not only do kids love to hang out in them, if you park on a pile of dry leaves, your car’s heat could be enough to start a fire.
Fall is an extremely active time for deer, so if you know they live in your area, watch out for them crossing the road. Slow down if you see one on the side of the road in case it suddenly decides to race across. And if you see one deer cross the road, expect to see another one. They travel in groups. Accidentally killing a deer would be tragic, but it also could destroy your car or the precious lives within it.
So be aware of the hazardous changes this season, and you’ll be able enjoy its beauty.