Most safety guides addressing seasonal traffic safety will focus on winter. After all, New York can get slammed with snow and may have icy streets even when there isn’t much precipitation on the ground. With all of the focus on extreme winter weather, however, people often overlooked another cooler season when their crash risk is a bit higher.
The autumn is a beautiful time to be out on the roads in New York, but it comes with its own concerns. What are the seasonal safety risks that you need to know about during the fall?
The cooler temperatures will affect your vehicle
Cold nights mean cooler, frost tinged-mornings. While it may be beautiful to get up and see a sparkling glaze over all of the plants in your yard, those near-freezing temperatures are going to have an impact on how your vehicle performs.
You may need to start warming your vehicle up to ensure optimal performance during your commute, a practice many people don’t start until there is accumulated snow on the ground. You also need to keep an eye on your tire pressure, as the colder temperatures will mean that the pressure drops in your tires, which will affect your traction.
Falling autumn foliage creates slippery road surfaces
Those beautiful deciduous leaves that start changing color and then dropping from the branches as temperatures get cooler are quite dangerous. Leaves accumulating on the road surface can reduce your traction, regardless of whether the leaves are dry or wet.
Additionally, little mounds of leaves in the road could conceal worrisome issues ahead of your vehicle, like debris that could puncture a tire or a pothole. You may need to slow down and maneuver more carefully to avoid large piles of downed leaves.
Low light and glare contributes to crashes
The days become progressively shorter as autumn marches on toward winter. Every day, the sun will come up a little later in the morning and go down a little earlier in the afternoon. That will eventually mean that you have to drive during those transitional times when the light is low and your risk on the road is higher.
As if that weren’t concerning enough, the change in the Earth’s tilt away from the Sun here in the northern hemisphere can also mean that there is intense afternoon glare that may temporarily blind drivers. Sunglasses are as important in autumn as they are during the brightest months of the summer.
Identifying how fall weather increases your risk on the road could help you potentially avoid a serious car crash.