Fall is a beautiful time of the year, but driving during this season means you face particular hazards. Here are some of the most common fall driving hazards and how to best manage them to avoid accidents and insurance claims.
Beware of School Traffic
The transition from summer to fall includes increased pedestrians, school buses, and parents dropping off and picking up their kids. These factors can slow your commute and they increase risk.
Allow additional time to get where you’re going and pay special attention to intersections and crosswalks. Children may not abide by the rules and cut across roadways or linger on corners, leaving you unsure of their intentions. Slow down and don’t assume they’ll follow the rules.
Leaves Increase Risk
They’re beautiful, but they’re also a driving hazard. They obscure road markings, hide potholes and animals, and swirl in the wind to reduce visibility. When leaves are wet, they are also extremely slippery.
Stay focused on your driving instead of admiring the colorful foliage. If you notice someone taking a scenic drive, allow plenty of space since they may stop unexpectedly to admire a particularly beautiful display.
Get Ready for the Rain
The first rains in the fall tend to pool on top of summer dust, which can make the roads very slippery. Fall also means the weather can change instantly. Ensure you store plenty of wiper fluid in the trunk, because a dirty windshield impairs visibility which can lead to an accident.
Fog Obscures Vision
It’s not surprising to drive on foggy roads in the fall, particularly if you pass through low-lying areas or live near water or heavily treed zones.
If you have fog lamps use them, but don’t switch on your high beams. The increased light will just bounce off the fog and create glare, instead of improving visibility. Leave plenty of space between other vehicles so you have time to react.
Frost & Ice Patches Return
The fall season means lower overnight temperatures which can create frost and ice on the roads. This is especially true in shaded areas or on bridges or overpasses.
Reduce speed and avoid using your brakes unless absolutely necessary. If you do need to brake, touch them lightly and frequently rather than using a firm, constant pressure.
As summer fades the sun drops on the horizon. Consequently, sun glare becomes a major issue. It can be difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists, and even the vehicles ahead or behind you.
Ensure your windshield is squeaky clean and carry good sunglasses. They should block almost all UV rays and up to 90% of visible light. Slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other drivers.
If you’re blinded, take a moment to regain your eyesight. Others might beep their horn, but that’s better than having an accident.
Watch for Deer
Deer tend to appear near roadways during the fall since it is mating season. They also favor the dawn and dusk when visibility is at its lowest.
If you spot a deer, reduce your speed since there may be others nearby. They’re unpredictable and often dart across the road unexpectedly.
Since fall is a risky time of the year for travel, check your Rhode Island auto insurance coverage. An insurance review with your agent only takes a few minutes, but it ensures you eliminate insurance gaps so you’re well-protected.