Safety driving tips in autumn weather

Fall weather is fairly unpredictable and driving conditions can change sporadically on a dime. Now with the shorter days looming, many Canadians will unfortunately be commuting to and from work in darkness. Fall is actually one of the more treacherous times of the year to be driving – so there are many safety precautions you need to prepare for.

It’s always good to give your vehicle a pre-drive inspection: make sure the tires are properly inflated, check to see all lights and turn indicators are working properly and make sure the engine has the correct fluid levels.

Here are some helpful tips to watch out for while driving this fall.

Stay alert on the road: Shorter days mean reduced visibility on the roads, which can create unfamiliar driving conditions.

Avoid sun glare: You may need to adjust to the different morning or late afternoon glare from the sun. The glare can cause reflections off car windows and hoods and decrease your visibility.

Plan ahead for wet conditions: Fall often brings rainfall, which can decrease visibility and cause hydroplaning. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition. If you’re caught in a heavy downpour, you may want to pull off the road until it’s safe to continue.

Use Caution on Bridges: During fall and winter months, bridges can be very dangerous. Bridges are exposed to the elements on both top and bottom, so they will freeze over before the rest of the road. Use caution when transitioning from the pavement to a bridge surface.

Nighttime Driving: Make sure your headlights are turned on and clean as the sunlight fades. Reduce your speed and increase your following distance particularly when driving at night.

The change in seasons can have a rapid effect on the roads and adds extra elements to look out for. Here are 4 big changes to be aware of.

Frost: A shady patch of highway can have less traction than other parts of the road. Use caution if your driving takes you over bridges, down tree-lined roads, or anywhere where shadows cross dew-laden highways.

Fog: Fog is found in low-lying areas or in places surrounded by trees, hills or mountains. Fog can limit visibility and change the perception of distance. When encountering fog - slow down.

Fallen leaves: Once leaves become wet, they can present slippery and dangerous driving conditions. Be sure to watch for patches of wet leaves on the road or on road lines

Rain: Early fall storms can often be sudden or include heavy rainfall. Slow down in the rain, avoid any hard braking, look well ahead and when approaching a mandatory stop intersection, brake sooner and more smoothly than usual. 

Anyone who has been involved in a car accident knows that the effects can be far reaching. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Harris Law if you’ve been in a car accident to get you the fair compensation you deserve.