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Beware Fall Driving Dangers

Fall RoadWinter and summer receive the most attention when it comes to poor driving conditions—between blizzards and intense thunderstorms, these seasons can spring inclement weather on drivers almost out of nowhere. But with fall creeping up on us, we'd be remiss to exclude its own unique roadway challenges. Let's take a look at what makes fall driving so dangerous, and how to avoid accidents as the seasons change once again. Leaves Nothing says 'fall' like piles of leaves swirling in the wind. But many times those leaves settle and pile up on roadways, which can cause issues for drivers. Leaves obscure road lines, potholes and other more dangerous debris. And of course, leaves don't play nice with water—hitting a patch of wet leaves on your drive can be just as dangerous as running into a patch of ice. Always slow down when approaching covered roadways—it's sometimes impossible to tell what lies ahead. Rain Rain doesn't just present an issue when mixed with leaves. Rain during the fall is often less intense than the summer. Whereas heavy rain can more quickly wash away oil and dust, light fall rain tends to mix with oil on the road's surface, creating slick driving conditions. Fog Fog is a frequent problem during fall, especially in the morning, and even more so in low-lying areas surrounded by hills, water, or trees. Fog density can vary, even in the same patch—you could quickly find yourself unable to see more than a few feet in front of your vehicle. Always slow down when entering fog, and never use your high beams. High beams reflect off the fog, reducing visibility even more. Frost With the temperature fluctuating throughout the day, mornings and evenings can see frost buildup on roadways—especially on bridges and in shaded areas. Deer Fall is also deer season, when the animals mate and migrate most frequently. Deer are easily 'frozen' by incoming headlights, making them difficult to avoid on rural (and even suburban) roadways. Deer also rarely travel alone, and just because you see one animal dart across the road doesn't mean it's entirely safe. There are probably more waiting just out of sight, so proceed with caution. Back-to-School Traffic While not unique to fall, traffic associated with schools—from buses to parents—makes its reappearance this time of year after a summertime absence. That also means more foot traffic, too—always be on the lookout for children and parents walking to and from school. All-Season Driving Each season presents its own challenges on the road. But being prepared before you head out is the best way to protect yourself and others from danger on the road. From thunderstorms to leaves to icy roads, stay alert, stay smart and stay safe out there. #falldrivingdangers