Whenever you get behind the wheel, you have to practice safe driving. You have to pay attention to the other drivers, the signs, and the conditions.
Conditions change constantly, particularly with the seasons. We all know how intense winter driving can be, but did you know that fall comes with it’s own set of driving conditions?
We have some fall driving tips that will keep you safe on the road this season.
1. Avoid Driving on Leaves
We may like to go on fall drives looking at all the leaves changing colour, but that doesn’t mean we should actually drive on them.
This is especially true in wet weather. Wet leaves will cling to the pavement, and can be as dangerous as ice. They can also hide potholes or other potential driving hazards.
If you do have to drive on leaves, reduce your speed and avoid any sudden stops and starts.
2. Prepare for the Weather
Fall is a time of year when you can experience several different types of weather in one day. Just think about the crazy inconsistent weather Ottawa’s been experiencing.
We recommend checking the weather forecast each day before you start driving. Knowing what to expect means you’ll be more prepared when driving conditions change. For example, it could be warm and sunny one minute, then rainy and cold the next.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the weather so you can time the switch to winter tires. Too early, and your tires will wear down. Too late, and you won’t be prepared for icy conditions.
3. Be Aware of Changes in Lighting
Another factor that comes with fall driving is that we have fewer hours of daylight. No doubt you’ve noticed that our sunsets are happening earlier and earlier, giving us less and less time to soak up some sun.
It’s important to be aware of the changes in light that are going to take place while you’re driving. You should always have sunglasses in your car, and make sure all the lights on your car operating.
4. Be on the Lookout for Animals
Maybe it’s the brisk temperature, or just the way nature works, but animals, particularly deer, are highly active in the fall.
You should always slow down when you see signs for deer crossing, and be extra attentive to the road. If you do encounter a deer, slow down and beep your horn.
The important thing to remember is to not swerve into the other lane – this will increase your chances of collision.
5. Get a Tune Up, and Stock Up on Emergency Supplies
This is an all-season tip, but getting an automotive tune up is especially important in the fall because it’s right before winter. Your car needs winter tires, fresh fluids, and an all-over service to get it ready for the harsher conditions.
You should also replenish, or create, your emergency car kit with everything you’ll need for colder temperatures. Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean that it won’t get cold if you break down.
6. Don’t Drive While Distracted
You should never drive distracted. Not only does it increase your chances of being in an accident, it increase the chances that you’ll hurt someone else.
If you aren’t sure what causes distracted driving, we have an article that can help. A good rule to follow is: if it’s going to take even a little bit of your attention away from the road, don’t do it.
We Can Help You Get Ready
While we can’t rake up all the leaves in Ottawa, we can make sure your car is properly prepared for the conditions. Book an appointment with us, and we’ll thoroughly prepare your car safe fall driving.