Safe driving is important all year long. However, it is important to re-consider your safety precautions and how you can adjust your driving for each season. Fall in Texas brings rain and wind. The sun also sets earlier, meaning much of your driving takes place in the dark. Keep these safe driving tips in mind this fall.
Don’t Underestimate the Rain
You have probably driven in many rainy conditions. But, even the lightest rainfall can affect the roads. Additionally, when you combine rainfall with fallen leaves, the roads tend to get slippery. Drive slowly through parts of the road with a lot of leaves. Leaves can also hide potholes or large pools of water that could cause your vehicle to hydroplane.
This might be a good time to either check the condition of your windshield wipers or to replace them. If you are met with rain, increase your distance between you and the car in front of you. If the rain brings fog, adjust your lights and use low beams instead.
Adjust to the Dark
It can take some time to adapt to the sun setting earlier. Just as your body has to get used to waking up when it is still dark out, your eyes also need to adjust. Give yourself a few minutes to become accustomed to the change when leaving a well-lit room and entering your dark car.
It is also important to adjust your mind to the new hours. During the summer months, it is rare to see children playing or people running after dark. During the winter, however, people are forced to find time for these activities and may be out after dark. Always avoid distractions and keep a close eye on pedestrian areas.
Be Prepared For Changing Weather
Perhaps one of the most difficult things about fall driving is the constant change of weather. One minute you can be driving down the road in the rain and the next, the sun is glaring in your window. It is important to be prepared for quickly changing weather.
Keep a good pair of sunglasses in your center console. Be ready to adjust for wet weather conditions. It can also be helpful to keep an extra cell phone charger in your glove box in case of any emergencies.
Inspect Your Car
Breaking down on the side of the road is never convenient. However, it can be more inconvenient during the colder, wetter fall months. Keeping up with basic preventative maintenance tasks can decrease the chances that you will have road problems. Always make sure your tires have the appropriate amount of air pressure, have your tires inspected and rotated regularly, and keep your headlights in good working condition.
It can also be useful to have a roadside assistance plan during fall driving. If you do experience car problems, you can call for a tow. Many services will also provide you with transportation to work or home.
Fall in Texas can be beautiful. Just make sure you are prepared for the driving challenges it can bring.
Image by AnandKhatri via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 | Cropped from original