As the seasons change, you need to adjust the way you drive. Driving in the autumn often means driving with reduced visibility, especially once the clocks go back. In this guide, we’ll give you some autumn driving safety tips, to help you get from A to B without a hitch.
Driving at night
Evidence shows that it’s more dangerous to drive at night, and 40% of all collisions happen in the hours of darkness. If you’re going to be driving in the dark, take extra care. If you don’t have car breakdown cover, perhaps consider getting a policy. If you were to breakdown on the side of a road, you’d want to be rescued as quickly as possible.
Check your bulbs now. If one needs replacing, do it straight away, don’t wait until you’re driving in the dark. Ask someone to walk around your car and help you check.
This is an all-year tip, but it’s well worth mentioning. Always plan ahead and give yourself enough time to make it to your destination. It is always better to be safe and arrive a few minutes late than rush and run the risk of having an accident.
Clear out your car’s plenum chambers
Once the trees start shedding leaves, you’ll need to check your car’s plenum chambers. You’ll find the tray-like area underneath your windscreen when you pop your bonnet. It can become filled with leaves if you regularly park under trees and, if you don’t clear them out, it could cause your plenum chambers to fill with water. This water could play havoc with your car’s electrics, if you’re not careful.
Prepare to be dazzled
Spend a few minutes cleaning your windscreen inside and out. At this time of the year, you’re prone to glare on your windscreen and it can be very dangerous. Have some sunglasses in your glovebox that you can wear, if needed. Get any chips or scratches to your windscreen fixed, too, as challenging weather can only make them worse and harder to fix.
If you are dazzled when driving, slow down and pull over in a safe place. Don’t attempt to drive with your arm covering your eyes or by squinting. You need to think of your own safety and the safety of others.
Check your battery
Depending on its age, you might want to consider replacing a worn out and unreliable battery now, rather than waiting until you can’t start your car one morning. Batteries typically only last five years.
Watch for leaves
As you’re driving you should always be looking for any hazards and, if you see a big pile of leaves, be careful. They could be hiding a pot hole or dip in the road. They can also be slippery when wet, so don’t suddenly speed up or brake.
If your windscreen wipers don’t work properly, or your wiper blades squeak, get them fixed or replaced pronto. You must be able to see clearly at all times – whether it’s raining, hailing or your car’s being barraged by falling foliage.
Get ready for wintery weather
Temperatures do start to drop in autumn and, depending on where you live, you may have ice to contend with. Make sure your windscreen and windows are de-iced before you set off and beware of leaving your car’s engine running on your drive unattended. You don’t want an opportunist thief to walk past and steal it.
Make sure to check your tyres, as they should have a least 3mm of tread to cope with wintery weather conditions.
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