Autumn Driving Conditions

autumn drivingGoodbye Summer, Hello Autumn.  There is certainly a change in the air so time to get used to new driving conditions and autumn weather hazards.

Leaves

Who’d have thought that leaves could cause so much damage?  Well they can.

Dry leaves – these can get stuck in tight places in your vehicle’s undercarriage. Dry leaves can also be a fire hazard, so don’t park near a pile in case your car’s catalytic converter ignites them!

Wet leaves – Did you know that wet leaves could be as dangerous as hitting standing water so reduce your speed before driving onto a patch. Wet leaves are slippery so avoid skidding by not braking or accelerating hard.

Leaves can also hide other road hazards such as a pothole so go easy when driving over them.  Also make sure that your windscreen is leaf-free as they can get stuck under the wipers causing a smeary mess if you are trying to clean your screen.

Driving in the Dark

Part of your evening’s commute will most likely now be in the dark.  If you are driving on an unfamiliar route, take extra care on windy roads or on hills, plus be super-vigilant for other motorists, pedestrians (including school children), cyclists and animals.

If the weather is turning chilly then there is a risk of ice.  If you are crossing a bridge then this will most likely ice over before the rest of the road.  Little puddles of water could also contain black ice.

Make sure you get your lights tested and you know how they work.

Road Trip Prep

As we always advise, do ensure that you have either booked your car in for a basic inspection (see our Autumn checks article) or that you give the following a good once over: the fluids, tyre pressure, windscreen wipers, brakes and engine.

Headlights should be cleaned, in good working order and aligned correctly. Also keep an emergency car safety kit in your boot.

Despite the change in weather, sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular but rather dazzling.  A pair of sunglasses kept in the car can help you drive in comfort and avoid that glare caused by bright sun.

If there is fog, ensure your headlight beam is set on low which aims the light down towards the road so as not to dazzle oncoming drivers.

So get out there and enjoy the autumnal colours before the leaves drop off altogether!

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