Autumn hazards

The dangers of snow and ice in the winter are obvious as is the need to take extra care, but what about the autumn?

There are a number of things to conside this time of year which can make driving really tricky, so here are a few hints and tips.

Low sun

The sun is still ¬†bright and can be really dazzling when setting. Keep your screen clear and clean inside and out, use the car’s visor and keep sunglasses handy.

Puddles and lying water

Sudden heavy rain can leave puddles in unexpected places. Fallen leaves easily block drains preventing water draining away. Driving in to deep water too quickly can easily lead to loss of control. Potholes can be hidden by innocent looking puddles so avoid them if safe to do so, or go through very slowly.

Leaves on the road

It’s just a fact of life, autumn means lots of fallen leaves! They can obscure road markings, make the verges and kerbs hard to define and make braking more hazardous as they form a slippery layer on the road when wet. If there are trees, there will be leaves, so take more care on tree lined roads.

Wind

Autumn (and spring) can have sudden variations in the weather, storms and high winds appearing suddenly. It’s not only the obvious vulnerable road users (high sided vans and trucks, caravans, bikes) that may veer from side to side in high winds, ordinary cars can be caught by sudden gusts. When you overtake something slow and large in windy conditions, you may experience strong side-force from the wind when you emerge from the shelter of the large vehicle. Open roads, bridges and exposed motorways need especial care in these conditions.

Verges

Solid dry verges in the summer can turn to soft wet areas in the autumn. On rural roads especially verges can also have gulleys cut to run water off the road, and driving into one of those can easily get your car stuck or even damaged.

Whether it’s your first autumn on the road or you are an experienced driver, remember to observe thoroughly, plan ahead and take account of the changing road conditions.

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