Five tips for staying safe on the road this autumn

With low visibility and slippery roads, autumn can be a tricky time for drivers. ― Shutterstock/AFP pic
With low visibility and slippery roads, autumn can be a tricky time for drivers. ― Shutterstock/AFP pic

NEW YORK, Oct 7 ― Autumn brings various dangers for drivers, from the shorter days and the rain to fallen leaves on the road. Here are some simple tips on how to stay safe on the roads at this time of year.

1. Check your tyres and windshield wipers

It's a good idea to check your tyres before taking the wheel in the driving rain. To ensure good grip, the treads should ideally have a depth of at least 2 mm. Driving with treads under 1.5 mm deep could be dangerous because they probably won't remove enough water, especially if it's raining heavily. Windshield wipers should also be in perfect working order to ensure the clearest possible view of the road in all driving conditions. Don't forget that they should ideally be changed every year.

2. Keep a safe distance

Whether in fog or rain, visibility can often be reduced in the fall. You should try to make sure that you're always visible to other road users while also keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. For example, if visibility is low past 50 metres, stick to a speed of 50 km/h. In any case, you need to make sure you leave enough braking distance to stop safely in the event of an emergency.

3. Use your fog lights

If visibility is very low, it's time to switch on your fog lights. When night starts to fall but conditions aren't especially bad, don't forget to switch your headlights to full beam, being careful not to dazzle users travelling in the opposite direction.

4. Keep cool if aquaplaning occurs

If the vehicle starts aquaplaning, don't slam on the brakes! You should wait until the tires are back in contact with the ground before you start braking, gently, and then correct your trajectory. You should avoid any sharp, sudden movements, both with the brakes and the steering wheel. The same goes when driving on fallen leaves in the city.

5. Stay stable in wind

As well as the dark and the rain, wind can be another danger when driving in the fall. In strong winds, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel (two hands are more important than ever) to stop your vehicle from drifting off the road. The same goes when overtaking other vehicles in high winds, especially high-sided vehicles such as trucks. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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