After this year’s fantastic summer weather, we can’t believe we are talking about Autumn but as a season it brings with it its own driving hazards as well as signalling the run into winter for which you will need to prepare your vehicle. Now may be a good time to remind yourself, or if you a Fleet manager, your drivers of some of the autumn driving hazards they may face as we move in to the colder months.
As the nights draw in, low sun and increased glare become a driving hazard. When faced with the glare of the sun there’s never a more important time to make sure your windscreen is clean and clear. Check your wiper blades are in good condition and that you have plenty of washer fluid to clear a smeared windscreen.
Keeping a pair of sunglasses handy and using your sun visor if the sun is dazzling are all ways to help yourself. Equally, use your headlights to make sure you are visible to others who may in turn have been dazzled by the sun.
Autumn brings with it more rainfall and potential for flooding. Wet weather causes breaking distances to double so drive with caution especially in heavy rainfall and watch out for standing water which can cause you to aquaplane. Slow down and use your windscreen wipers, lights and even fog lights to ensure you have maximum visibility at all times.
Watch out for leaves
Falling leaves combined with wetter weather are a recipe for slippery and unpredictable driving conditions. Watch out for patches of wet leaves which can cause you to skid, especially on country roads and adjust your speed accordingly.
Check your tyres
Wet conditions mean it’s important to make sure your tyres are up to scratch. The legal tyre tread limit is 1.6mm but in reality, it is better to have at least 2/3mm to give you that extra grip.
It’s also recommended that you check your tyre pressure every 4 weeks – your handbook will give you details of the correct psi levels for your vehicle.
Be aware of deer in the autumn months as their behaviour can change. A collision with a deer can cause substantial damage to your vehicle. If you see a sign warning of deer take note and do slow down when driving through rural areas.
As well as adjusting to the changes in weather it’s important that you don’t forget to carry out regular vehicle maintenance checks as well as making sure you are prepared for the winter weather. Our blog on winter driving offers some useful pointers on the areas you should be considering.