The fall season may seem like the perfect time to unwind by going for a drive and enjoying the picturesque scenery and change in weather. However, even under the best of conditions, driving in the fall can present a number of potentially dangerous seasonal hazards. From fewer hours of daylight to increased odds of accidents due to rainy weather to poorly prepared cars and more, the most common fall hazards can pose a threat to your and your passengers’ health and safety. Fortunately, you can still get where you need to go or enjoy a scenic fall drive by understanding the risks and taking precautions. Take a look at some of the most common hazards of driving in the fall.

Earlier Sunsets Could Increase Your Risk of Accidents

Although the shorter fall days mean beautiful sunsets at an earlier time, more hours of darkness can also pose a risk to individuals on the road. If you’re planning to drive during the early morning or late afternoon and evening in the fall, you may need to take some additional precautions to make sure you stay safe. The link between darkness and accidents is generally due to an increased risk of:

  • Hitting or swerving around nocturnal animals
  • Facing poor visibility on the roads
  • Obscured perception of important road signs
  • Experiencing difficulty with color recognition and depth perception
  • Traffic accidents and preventable injuries and/or death

Falling Leaves and Poor Weather Could Present Obstacles

Crisp fall temperatures and falling leaves may be ideal for taking a casual walk, but when you’re driving, typical fall weather can sometimes lead to potentially hazardous driving conditions. For example, you may be at greater risk of hydroplaning on a slick road or hitting obstacles such as fallen branches. Before you head out, check the local weather report for any:

  • Fog and mist
  • Heavy rain, hail or snow
  • Falling leaves
  • Damp or slick roads
  • Frost on the roads
  • Extreme gusts of wind

An Inappropriately Prepared Car Could Become Dangerous

Finally, not having a car that’s well-equipped to handle colder weather can also be dangerous. For a truly fall-appropriate car, make sure your vehicle has:

  • Good tire pressure
  • Cold-weather tires in good condition with treads
  • Central heating inside the car
  • Front and back window defoggers
  • Bright, functional headlights

Additionally, you can help keep yourself and your passengers safe by always keeping a few essentials in the car. Create your own safety kit with:

  • A flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Rain jackets or ponchos
  • A first-aid kit
  • Flares and orange safety triangles

Although you may be tempted to hop in your car and hit the road the minute you see the leaves changing color and falling to the ground, there are some key precautions you should take first. Be aware of light conditions, take extra care when the weather is slick and check that your car is prepared before going on a drive this fall.

About Thayer Innes and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agencies

At Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency, we strive to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to support Ann Arbor homeowners. Our homeowners’ policies can be tailored to meet your specific risk exposures and provides much more coverage than a traditional policy, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 395-6316.