The coming of fall means a lot of wonderful things, like crisp weather, colorful leaves, football games, and hot apple cider. Fall can also bring risks when it comes to driving your used car. Here are a few things to be mindful of when driving this fall season.
While the fall foliage can be beautiful to look at, the leaves can also make for some hazardous driving conditions. As the leaves fall to the ground, they can create puddles by blocking curbs and gutters and can make potholes and pavement markings difficult to see. They can also make for a slippery commute when they coat the road after a rainstorm. Your tires can’t properly grip the road when driving on wet leaves, possibly causing your car to slide.
Tip: Slow down when a road is covered with leaves, but don’t slam on the brakes.
Have you ever noticed how the sun seems brighter than usual on fall mornings? Well, that’s because it is! The sun moves closer to the horizon in the fall, making it closer to line of sight and more likely to reflect at low angles off buildings, other cars and windows.
Tip: Have your sunglasses handy and keep your windshield clean so that dirt streaks don’t make the glare even worse.
Fog and frost
As you know, the coming of fall means cooler mornings and winter weather aren’t far behind. Chilly autumn mornings can result in fog, reducing your vision and distance perception. Cooler weather and morning dew can also cause frost and icy driving conditions, especially if you live in cooler parts of the country.
Tip: Use your fog lights or low beams. High beam lights can make visibility worse in these conditions because the bright light bounces off the fog and reflects right back into your eyes. Also, be sure to slow down on frosty mornings and pay special attention to those “Freeze Warnings” signs on bridges and overpasses.
Driving in the dark
With autumn comes the end of Daylight Savings Time, meaning we’ll be spending more time driving in the dark. Driving in the dark affects your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision.
Tip: Keep your windshield clean and reduce your distractions while driving, especially at night. You can also find instructions in your used car’s owner’s manual to help your aim your lights better, as well as how to dim the lights on your dashboard.
Tire pressure issues
As the temperatures rise and fall on those autumn days, your tires can actually expand and contract, resulting in loss of air pressure.
Tip: Look in your used car’s manual to find the proper air pressure for your tires and be sure to check your tires regularly to make sure they’re properly inflated.
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