autumn driving

Cooler weather, breathtaking fall foliage, and breaking out the sweaters and scarves are just a few reasons as to why fall is one of the favorite seasons. Despite many of the comfy and cozy pluses of the season, fall can also be a dangerous season for millions of drivers across the country. Here are some common roadway hazards and some helpful tips for avoiding a car accident and staying safer overall:

Teen Drivers 

Teen drivers often get a bad rep, but sometimes for good reason. Adolescent drivers are some of the most inexperienced drivers on the road and they are also more likely to take unnecessary risks. Although the back to school traffic in general can make the roads a little busier in the fall, teen drivers are typically the drivers to watch closely. Summertime is a popular time for teen drivers to get their license so when you encounter a young driver on the road in the fall, it’s likely that he or she has only been driving a few short months. 

If you have a teen driver in your household, make sure he or she is confident in driving alone and stress the importance of driving safely through school zones and to be on the lookout for pedestrians and school buses stopping to drop off and pick up kids (these are good reminders for drivers of all ages).

Unpredictable Weather 

Remember, fall is the season in between two extreme seasons in most parts of the U.S. so it’s not uncommon to experience unpredictable weather. It can be frosty with light snow in the morning and warm and sunny in the afternoon. Not only do you need to know how to dress, but it’s important to know how to drive for the weather and road conditions. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to make sure your car is ready for the changing of the seasons, too, to prevent being broken down on a blustery day.

Less Daylight Hours 

As summer fades away, so does the daylight hours. Once fall has arrived, it’s likely that you’ll be returning from work at dusk or in the dark. Although nighttime driving is common, it can be a challenge for many drivers. If you struggle to see well at night or feel uncomfortable driving after dark, try to drive only during the daylight hours. While it’s not always possible, if you do need to drive after dark make sure you know to navigate the roads safely, avoiding common problems such as glare from oncoming vehicle’s headlights and not driving when you’re fatigued.

Watch for Wildlife 

You don’t need to live in a rural area to come across wildlife, such as deer or raccoons, crossing the road at night. While wildlife can be easier to spot during the day, you may struggle to see them approaching the road when it’s dark out. Deer crossing are particularly prevalent during the fall as it is their migration and mating season. Drive alert and scan the sides of the road, especially when traveling near heavily wooded areas or cornfields.