Ah, Autumn. The cool air, the crisp apples and (if nothing else in South Florida) the smell of rain in the air. What’s not to love? If you are like some people, the answer to that question is “driving.” Believe it or not, driving in the fall weather is different than driving at any other time of year. Just ask someone who has spun their car on a coating of wet leaves or run smack into a deer that appeared out of nowhere.
There are tips you can use for driving through the autumn weather that aren’t much different than those that apply to other times of year, just tweaked a bit. No matter if you use these tips throughout the year or just now and again, it’s never a bad idea to remind yourself how to drive for the season we are experiencing. On that note, here are some fall weather driving tips you may find beneficial.
Did that get your attention? Good. We aren’t telling you not to brake ever but not to brake on wet leaves. It’s not unusual for wet leaves to be as slick as ice, something many people don’t realize until it’s too late. If your lane is obscured by a coating of leaves, slow down before you hit them and then coast over them. Accelerate when you’ve cleared the coating.
Well, you can’t exactly get away from the sun, but you can avoid its glare. The evenings are getting darker much sooner, so you may not be used to having the sun in your face on your afternoon drive home. Now that the sun could very well be streaming through your windshield and into your eyes, it’s important to know what you can do.
Keep your windshield clean to avoid much of the glare. Wear a good pair of sunglasses to reduce the glare even further, and put your sun visor down. You can literally be blinded as far as driving goes if you don’t follow these steps.
If you live in certain areas of the country, you’ve already seen these signs. If you’re traveling to a state that experiences snow in the winter, you’ll see them there. What it means is that you will hit a patch of ice on a bridge long before the roads freeze over. Keep this in mind as you drive this autumn. Frost in the mornings can have little impact on roads, but turn bridges into skating rinks.
Here’s a tip many people don’t think about. Give your eyes a moment to adjust when you get in the car. When you get ready in the morning, you’ve been under light bulbs. When you work, you work under light bulbs. When you get in your car, chances are it’s going to be dark. Give your eyes a minute or two to adjust to the change.
Don’t forget that deer and other animals are likely to be more active. Not necessarily because it’s autumn, but because they enjoy romping during dawn and dusk when the light is low. Now that we have changed times and it’s darker longer, deer may be more apt to run into a roadway. Scan the sides of the road as you drive and remember: Deer travel in groups. If one leaps across the road, don’t assume you are in the clear. Chances are high that the deer has a little friend following behind.
One last tip: make sure your car is as ready for autumn driving as you are. That means to make sure that your tire pressure is at the proper level, your windshield wipers can get the job done and all of your fluids are topped off. Check to be sure that neither of your headlights are burnt out and do the same for your brakes, reverse lights and fog lamps.
Driving during the autumn can be beautiful, but it can also be dangerous. If you haven’t given thought to how you can best prepare to cruise through the fall weather, use the tips above. While not each may pertain to you, most do.
If you are involved in an accident in West Palm Beach during autumn or any other time of year, you have legal rights. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers and discover just what those rights are. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your best options moving forward. We can fight the insurance companies for you and, if necessary or appropriate, help you seek damages from the negligent driver. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation and take the first step on the path to justice.