With the end of Summer nearby, it’s time to put away the sun cream and swimsuits and start thinking about layering up and the approach of holidays like Halloween and Bonfire Night. Autumn can be a very beautiful time of year, with the changing colour palette of nature on a bright crisp morning. However, it can make the conditions of driving a little different to the summer months leading up to it. Here are some of our tips to keeping safe on the roads this Autumn.
- Wet, fallen leaves can be extremely slippery on both the road and the pavement. Hiding road markings and other hazards like potholes. So, pay close attention to clear road markings and be wary around pedestrians walking by.
- Morning frost can create icy patched on the road in shaded or more rural areas, take extra care by reducing your speed.
- Deer breeding season coincides with Autumn, so be extra vigilant in rural or wooded areas, especially around sunrise and sunset when they are most active. Deer warning signs should be in place to warn you of known deer areas.
- Many areas have frequent flood warnings in the autumn, as rainfall levels go up. If you’re driving through these areas, make sure you check the weather and flood warnings from the sites like Flood Warning Information from gov.uk.
- If the roads are flooded, avoid areas of deep water, which is usually the kerb edge or a pothole. Drive slowly across the water but keep the engine revs high to avoid stalling and getting stuck. If there is another car crossing in front, be aware that the waves from that car may submerge your car so leave a gap. Do not attempt to cross deep water. A car can float in as little as two feet of standing water.
- Early morning sun in Autumn is especially low, so vision can be impaired even with sun visors. Clearing your windscreen, inside and out, of any hazy film residue can make it as clear as possible.
- Having a pair of sunglasses in the car that are used for driving may help the suns glare until it rises high enough.
- Sorting out any scratches or chips is also something to consider, as they can e made worse by hidden potholes and can intensify sun glare.
- Replacing wiper blades if they are worn, damaged or over 4 years old. It can make clearing leaves and heavy rain much easier.
- Consider fitting cold weather tyres towards the end of Autumn or beginning of Winter. They dramatically improve grip and stability when temperatures drop.
- Make sure your headlights and bulbs are in working order, they will also help other drivers spot you in foggy or low light areas, as well as making it easier for you to see.
- Make sure your battery is in good shape, they need replacing every 5 or so years so make sure there are no signs of the battery struggling.
- Antifreeze is important in the Autumn, with temperatures dropping it can be a nightmare having to sit and manually defrost the car every day. Make sure you keep a bottle of antifreeze in the car and keep on top of your Antifreeze level. Many garages to check the antifreeze for you and can offer cheap or free winter checks.
What to keep in the car?
Having supplies in the boot or glove compartment may seem obvious, but you do not want to be caught out if you are far from home or from a supply shop. Consider keeping the following in your car –
- Ice scraper
- Map of your local area
- Mobile phone charger
- Your breakdown providers details and any information they might need from you.