Fall is a busy time of year on American roads. The NFL season is in full swing, people are traveling for Thanksgiving, Christmas preparations are happening, and a lot of drivers are out and about.

It’s crucial to take good care while driving in the autumn. Today we’ll be sharing our top 10 tips on driving safely in the fall.

What Is It Like Driving In The Fall?

Driving in the fall can be hazardous and requires a lot of concentration, skill, and responsibility. There are particular dangers associated with autumn driving that you might not encounter at other times of the year.

What Can Be A Hazard When Driving In Autumn?

The main hazards when driving in autumn are:

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Wet leaves
  • Busy roads
  • Holiday drivers
  • Tired drivers

Fall Driving Tips 2021

Here are 10 tips on driving safely in the fall…

1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Prepared For Autumn Weather

To stay safe while driving in the fall, make sure your vehicle is fully serviced, in great working order, and well prepared for autumn driving conditions.

So how do I prepare my car for autumn driving? Follow this checklist:

  • Make sure tire pressure is correct and the threads are not worn down.
  • Check fuel, water, and coolant levels and top up if necessary. Make sure there are no leaks.
  • Ensure the coolant system, radiator, and pressure cap are fully operational.
  • Check hoses and belts for signs of wear and tear.
  • Check your vehicle’s lights and windscreen wipers. Both are very important for staying safe in autumn.
road with fall leaves
Image by Craig Adderley on Pexels: What is it like driving in the fall? Leaves on the road may pose a hazard.

2. Keep Up To Date On Fall Weather Conditions

Autumn weather can be changeable and unpredictable. The season is characterized by a rapid and often haphazard change from summer heat to winter frigidity.

To stay safe while driving in the fall, it’s crucial to keep up to date on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter on your journey. Typical weather types that can cause hazardous driving conditions in the fall are:

  • Fog
  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Frost
  • Black ice
  • Bright, blinding sunlight

3. Be Careful Of Autumn Leaves

How can wet leaves affect your driving?

  • Make surfaces slippery
  • Increase braking distances
  • Can hide potholes and bumps on the road
  • Can stick to your windshield and reduce visibility
  • Children and pets may be concealed in raked piles of leaves
  • Dry leaves can catch fire

To counter the hazards of autumn leaves:

  • Practice safe, defensive driving
  • Make sure your windscreen wipers are working well
  • Never park over dry leaves

4. Always Bring Water And Food In Your Car

When driving in the fall, accidents and breakdowns can happen. It’s a good idea to always have sufficient drinking water and snacks to tide you over in case you get stranded.

5. Have Essential Safety Equipment In Your Vehicle

To stay safe while driving in autumn, always have essential safety equipment in your vehicle:

  • Coolant fluid
  • Oil
  • Drinking water
  • First aid kit
  • Spare medication if necessary
  • Antihistamines
  • Cell phone and car mobile phone charger
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflective triangles and a reflective vest
  • Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
  • Tool kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Warm clothes
  • Blankets

6. Beware The Dangers Of Tired Driving

Driving while tired can be lethal. Tiredness leads to slower reaction times and lapses in concentration. If you’re taking a long journey during the autumn holidays, be aware of how sleepy you are feeling. If you get tired while driving, take a break, have some coffee, get some fresh air, or take a nap (or all of the above!).

7. Always Drive Safely And Defensively

How do you drive safely in the fall?

  • Stay very aware of your surroundings
  • Never rely on good driving from other road users
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you
  • Drive within the speed limit
  • Avoid distractions
autumn road
Image by Dariusz Borowik on Unsplash: Follow our fall driving tips in 2021 and you’ll stay safe on the roads all season.

8. Be Aware Of Thanksgiving Traffic

The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest times of the year on American roads. Accidents are common over Thanksgiving. Roads are packed and people are often driving tired. Always check ahead to find out how busy roads are and what weather conditions will be like when driving over Thanksgiving.

9. Never Drive Under The Influence

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving sees an increase in alcohol-related road accidents. Alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal, massively curtail a person’s ability to drive safely. It’s irresponsible and downright dangerous to drive under the influence of any drug or alcohol. Stay safe in the fall, and all year round, by never driving under the influence.

10. Always Have Your Disabled Parking Permit In Your Vehicle

When driving in the fall, no matter where you are in the country, you can use disabled parking – but only if you have your disabled parking permit with you. Keep your permit in your vehicle’s glove compartment at all times so you never forget it.

For more information about how to get a parking permit, you can contact Disabled Parking for an online consultation.

Featured image by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash