After the heat and humidity of a long summer and before the snow and ice of winter, fall is supposed to be a time when the weather is better, the temperatures are cooler, and the hazards fewer. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The changing weather, and even the leaves, in fall can cause their own problems for drivers on the road.
Keep these things in mind as you’re making your way around town this fall so you and other drivers can stay safe.
Watch Out for Back to School Traffic
School is in again, and that means the roads are busier. On top of that, kids are walking to and from school and crossing busy roads. To keep everyone safe, follow these tips:
- Watch for school zones and slow down.
- Be alert for extra traffic and kids darting across the road.
- Give yourself extra time to get to work in the morning so you don’t feel rushed.
Prepare for Unpredictable Weather
In the fall, the day can change from sunny and mild to rainy and cold in a short amount of time. Add to that shorter days and more time driving in the dark, and the hazards become clear.
- Turn on your lights in the rain and when it’s dark.
- Slow down when the weather changes. Roads are most slippery when the rain first starts.
- If you can’t see or the rain becomes too hard, move off to the side of the road and put your hazard lights on. Don’t get back on the road until conditions improve.
Beware of Fall Leaves
You wouldn’t think falling leaves could pose a hazard to drivers, but they do. Leaves cover the ground making the lines and potholes difficult to see. They’re also as a slippery as ice if it rains.
- Pay attention when you’re driving, especially if the lines are covered.
- Slow down in wet weather and don’t brake suddenly. Treat the leaves as if you were driving on ice.
- Watch out for the people who like to watch the changing foliage. They’ll drive slower and more erratically. Safely get around them, but don’t weave in out and of traffic or cut other drivers off.
- Give yourself space between you and the car in front of you in case a fall foliage watcher suddenly brakes to look at the leaves.
Fog can appear after a cold morning and is most common in low lying areas and near water. Sometimes it’s as thick as soup and impossible to navigate through.
- Drive slower through the fog.
- Don’t turn on your high beams. This creates a glare and makes it more difficult for you to see. Your regular lights are enough.
- Do not tailgate in fog. Keep extra space between you and other cars.
Watch Out for Deer
Fall is deer-mating season, and it’s a time when they’re more active. Deer tend to travel in groups so if you see one, you’re sure to see more.
- Stay alert. If you see deer on the side of the road, slow down. They could dart in front of you at any moment.
- Keep distance between you and the car in front of you in case they have to come to a quick stop.
- If you do hit a deer, get to safety and immediately call for help. Deer impacts can cause damage to your vehicle and physical injury to you due to the force of the impact.
Be Careful with Frost and Ice
As fall progresses, frost and ice become real concerns. One cold night means you may wake up to frost on your windshield. Shaded parts of the road ice over more quickly, too.
- Defrost your car or scrape the frost from your windows before leaving for the day. Do not drive if you can’t see out of your windows.
- Watch out for dark, shiny patches on the ground and drive slower.
- Do not tailgate because you never know if someone in front of you will find the ice before you do.
Fall is a great time of year. The weather is mild, and the leaves are beautiful. Make sure your fall stays great by being safe when you’re on the road. Watch out for common hazards and be patient with other drivers.
If you’ve got questions about your current Watertown, MA auto insurance coverage or if you’re looking for a new plan, contact us at Click Insurance today.