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driving a carA Poetic Yet Hazardous Time of Year

Fall is a time of shortening days and gradual shifting temperatures when the leaves take on vibrant orange and yellow hues. While all those seasonal events may sound poetic, fall is also a time when drivers need to be more aware when driving. A sudden rainstorm or a slippery patch of frost can cause people who are accustomed to summer driving to unwittingly make mistakes. In fact, according to research from the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, the riskiest time to drive is from September through December. These months carry the greatest risk of being in a crash that results in a fatality.

Beware of Black Ice and Jack Frost

Because temperatures can dip fairly fast in the fall, you have to be particularly careful about such conditions as black ice or wet leaves, which can cause hydroplaning. When driving over bridges, be especially wary as these structures freeze before other parts of the road. Use extreme caution when driving across an overpass. Black ice and frost can suddenly form on bridges or in shaded spots on the road. Take special care if your route follows shaded, dew-laden streets or tree-lined highways.

Pull Over During a Fall Rain

Fall rainstorms don’t make driving any easier either as the deluge can result in slippery roads. All that oil buildup on the roads over the summer can make them suddenly slick. Therefore, use both your windshield wipers and headlights when a fall rainstorm hits. When water builds up excessively, a car can hydroplane or literally glide out of control. Before you find yourself in this state, slow down and pull over to the side of the road. Wait the storm out – don’t put yourself in jeopardy.

Mornings Can Mean Driving in the Dark

In addition to the temperature changes and shifts in the weather, daylight hours decreasing. Therefore, many commuters travel to work while it’s still dark, making it even more of a priority to drive safely.

The Hazards of Falling Leaves

Autumn leaves, while lovely, can present problems when they fall. Never drive through a pile of leaves as they can cover pipes or another type of obstruction. Even worse, the leaf pile may be a hideaway for a small child. Scattered leaves can also cover potholes or dips in the pavement. Avoid turning suddenly or accelerating fast when driving over leaves as doing so can lead to a big skid.

Crawl in the Fog

One of the most dangerous hazards that a motorist can face in the fall is the fog. Not only can the veil impair your perception of distance, it can severely limit your visibility. Slow down immediately if you meet with the gray curtain and turn on the low beam on your headlights. Most rear-end accidents happen on foggy autumn days. Crawl, if necessary, to stay safe.

Take Extra Care

While shifts of shadow and light and the leaves’ varying hues make fall a beautiful season to behold, it’s a time to use extra caution when you’re out on the road. Beware of those patches of frost, sleet-like conditions, and falling leaves and rain. Enjoy the scenery but also be aware of any underlying risks.

Alliance Insurance Group would be happy to discuss your Colorado auto insurance options should fall driving conditions make you wonder about your coverage. Give us a call at 888-279-9701.

Posted 9:50 AM

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