Driving Safety Tips for Fall Season


Fall brings brilliant autumn leaves, breathable cool air, and an amazing October sky. Unfortunately, fall also creates a different set of driving conditions that could increase the chances of having an accident if a driver does not take the proper precautions.

The weather conditions and other variables during the fall season, which this year is September 22 to December 21, go from bad to worse; as a result, drivers need to make adjustments that go from cautious to high alert. From back to school to falling leaves, and early sunsets to freezing weather, the fall ushers in conditions that are different and more dangerous for drivers than the preceding summer season.

Whether you are taking a pleasure drive or simply driving to or from work, the fall season requires some simple, mindful adjustments to your driving habits. It is necessary, therefore, to take a long look at the dangers of the fall season and what you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe.

What Are the Dangers for Drivers During the Fall?

Because school is in session, the number one concern for drivers during the fall is children sharing the crosswalks and bicycling on the roads. During the morning and afternoon hours, there are children rushing to catch buses and walking to or from school. Many of them are distracted by cell phones, tablets, their friends, or any other of the numerous excitements and distractions on the street. Watch for children even when you are not near a school or park.

Halloween presents an even bigger danger for kids. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children on Halloween have twice the chance of being hit by a car and killed on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Halloween means copious trick-or-treaters roaming around distracted by the fun.

Autumn leaves fall to the ground, and that means slippery conditions, especially in the colder weather when wet leaves freeze. Accumulations of leaves also cause cars to park away from curves and children to walk close to passing vehicles.

Because of an earlier sunset and sunrise, fall causes many drivers to struggle with sun glare. Momentary blindness for just one second could cause an accident. The potential to hit animals is also greater during the fall. According to Consumer Reports, car insurance claims for hitting animals rise considerably during the fall, which coincides with the deer mating season.

Darkness is a problem for many drivers. Visibility is simply not as good at night as during the day. Many roads have poorly lit areas, and headlight glare only exacerbates the risk of having a nighttime accident. The fact is that more accidents per driver on the road happen at night than during the day.

Overnight freezing is perhaps the most dangerous of all conditions during the fall season. The end of fall can bring winter weather, and that means overnight freezing. Icy roads are more dangerous than any other road condition.

What Are Good Tips for Fall Driving?

First and foremost: take your time, especially in residential areas. In particular, watch for kids running across the street, especially from between cars. Do not drive close to or pass a school bus. When a school bus is stopped, wait until it removes its red signal lights and stop arm.

Prepare your car for the fall weather. Keep your headlights and windshield clean, and replace your windshield wipers if they are not working properly. Also check your tire pressure more frequently, as colder weather deflates them quicker.

Always have a pair of sunglasses handy in case of glare, and slow down or pull over if your vision is affected for any reason.

Be on the lookout for animals, especially at night when driving on roads near wooded areas.

Do not use your high beams in rainy or icy conditions, as doing so could cause a reflection that hits your eyes; it is also dangerous for opposing traffic. It is best to use roads you are familiar with. Be aware of icy patches in the morning, excessive leaves on the ground, and bad weather conditions that warrant staying off the roads.

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