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Autumn Driving Safety Tips

Autumn driving has its own unique set of challenges.
  • Make adjustments for the light. Did you know that we lose a minute of daylight every day until the clocks are set back in November? Fewer hours of daylight make it more difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and children playing in the late afternoon. Also, later sunrises mean that drivers need to adjust to the brighter sun at different times of the morning. Always keep a pair of sunglasses in your car to shield your vision.
  • Avoid driving over wet leaves. Fall foliage is beautiful but once those leaves start falling and get wet from rain, they can become a serious driving hazard. Wet leaves are slippery and reduce traction.
  • Don’t Veer for Deer. If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, remember don’t swerve. Be sure to brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel with both hands. Come to a controlled stop and move the vehicle out of traffic to a safe location.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your car. Carrying an emergency kit in your car trunk or cargo area can be a real lifesaver. Be sure to include a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit, jumper cables, extra washer fluid, nonperishable food, a jug of water, and a few basic tools such as wrenches, a ratchet/socket set, screwdrivers, and pliers.
  • Watch for frost. Low nighttime temperatures cause frost on windshields and roads. Be sure to clear your windshield completely before driving. Also, slow down when approaching bridges and overpasses, as these structures are more prone to collect frost on the roadway surface. Stay alert for shaded areas that could create black ice during early morning and evening hours.
  • Plan ahead for changing weather conditions. Have your car winterized before the winter storm season sets in. Keeping your car in good condition decreases your chance of being stranded in cold weather. Also, be sure to have a first-aid kit, thermal blanket, a working flashlight, a shovel and sand in your car.
  • Watch for construction work zones. Construction work zones may still be active. Consult MDOT's Mi Drive traffic Web site to plan your route. Please remember to slow down and pay attention in work zones. The life you save could be your own.