Behind the Wheel

Can you Guess the Worst Time of Year To Drive?

November 14, 2014
Would you believe that the season you’re most likely to get in a car accident is not winter or spring, but actually fall?! Most of the time, we are bombarding with information about prepping your car for cold weather or the transition into summer time, but it turns out that the beautiful, wonderful fall weather is the most hazardous for drivers. Perhaps it’s because people have their guard down more than they would when slick, icy roads are commonplace, but rain is a much greater danger, according to the Road Weather Management Program. According to their reports, 25 percent of car accidents happen because of weather-related conditions…and 75 percent of of those accidents happen on wet pavement! The increased darkness and leaves on the ground also gives cause for more accidents. Hence, there are a few things you can do to prep your car for fall weather:
  • Make sure all of your headlights are working properly and replace if necessary — you don’t want to be caught on a dark night without one or two headlights in working order!
  • Replace bald tires or rotate tires in order to have the best traction on wet roads.
  • Heat can wear down rubber wiper blades during the summer, so it’s a good idea to replace wiper blades so that you have the best possible vision while driving in stormy weather. If the blades are streaking or failing to give consistent visibility, you need new blades!
  • Of course, you’ll also want to make sure your brakes are in the best working order, so you aren’t skidding around on roads.
  • Check tire pressure, for safety and, as a bonus — to improve your gas mileage!
Other than these maintenance checks, your final preparation for the fall season should be to stay alert and educated on what to do in various situations. For example:
  • In rainy weather, you should always drop your speed below the usual speed limit and stay with the flow of traffic.
  • Take it easy when rounding corners and approaching stops, in rain, snow or fog
  • Drive with low beams on and listen for traffic you may not see when driving in foggy weather
I think the most important thing is to just be aware of the dangers of fall driving and the high rate of car accidents. Once you keep that in mind, you’ll naturally be more cautious and create safer driving conditions for us all. Now go out there and enjoy the last of the AMAZING fall colors!

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