Autumn driving tips and the hazards to look out for

Autumn driving

As of 22 September, the season of changing leaves officially begins.

Autumn doesn’t only bring the smell of bonfires and cinnamon, but it can also bring frost and wet leaves on the roads making it challenging for drivers.

With this in mind, we wanted to share a few tips and the hazards to look out for whilst driving this autumn.

The sun sits lower in the sky during the autumn season, so keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle and use your sun visor to help you shade your eyes from the sunlight glare.

It’s also important to keep your windscreen and other windows clean to ensure clarity, as dust and dirt can reflect light which can further affect your vision.

If you’re dazzled, reduce speed and avoid tailgating. By doing so, you will have more time to react if you need to stop suddenly. If you really struggle to see whilst driving then stop at a safe location and wait until there is more clarity on the road.

You may have already noticed that the days are getting shorter, and the nights longer. Don’t forget to switch on your lights on time and keep an eye on the bulbs in case they need changing.

Seasonal changes can also affect your body, so don’t drive if you feel too tired. Fatigue is a major contributor factor in crashes in the UK so if you start feeling tired whilst driving stop at a safe place and take a break.

In September, children return back to school so be extra vigilant to avoid accidents. Stay alert whilst driving nearby schools and don’t exceed the speed limit which in school areas is 20 mph.

If you are passing by a school bus, always be extra careful as children may step out into the road unexpectedly.

Wet leaves on the road can get extremely slippery, which can make driving difficult. It could be similar to driving on ice so reduce speed and maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Don’t forget to check your tyres to ensure legal compliance as well as keep you safe on the road.

The temperature is also likely to decrease so there might be frost on the road. Again, reduce your speed and avoid harsh braking.

If you have frost on your windscreen, clear it off completely before you start your journey. Bear in mind, that frost and ice on the windscreen of your vehicle can invalidate your insurance policy.

The temperature drop can also affect your vehicle’s battery. Therefore, turning on the vehicle regularly is essential as well as leaving it to work for at least 15 minutes so the battery can have time to recharge. This also allows the engine to warm up and prevent internal components deteriorating.

Make sure your antifreeze is topped up – it prevents water from freezing up and it can also raise the boiling point of engine coolant.

Falling leaves can leave streaks on your windscreen so don’t forget to check your washer fluid too.