Here at Openbay, we regularly dispense driving advice, and because our office is based in beautiful Cambridge, MA, a good deal of it has been related to driving in the snow. Yet at this time of year, lots of young drivers are hitting the roads, bound for college or high school, and this may be the first time they’re encountering another mother of driving dangers: fall!
Fall in New England brings beautiful, cool temperatures and stunning foliage. Unfortunately, when those leaves drop off the trees, and wind up on often-wet roadways, that’s a slippery combination. When leaves on the road become wet, they act like a sled on the snow. Any object on top of wet leaves becomes an object potentially out of control, skidding. Making matters even worst is when the temperature drops below freezing. Your vehicle now becomes a heavy sled. We don’t want this or any of the above to happen.
Check out these tips to stay cool and in control behind the wheel on slippery roads due to many wet leaves!
Fall Driving Tips
- Turn on Your Headlights
If you don’t already have daytime running lamps (they’re also one way to save on your insurance premium)
- Remain Focused & Cut Distractions
Keep passengers to a minimum. The “passenger effect” is a real danger. Here’s why. Put your phone away; avoid the temptation. If it must be in the driver compartment, turn it to “silent” and put it in your vehicle’s center console or door pocket. Ask others to turn down their phones if you find the “dings” distracting.
- Avoid Puddles
If you must drive through, or partially through a puddle, slow down before you get there. Puddles could easily cause your vehicle to hydroplane, meaning it will skim over the surface of the water, and you’ll lose all control. If there’s a tree, guardrail or pedestrian on the other side of that water when you’ve lost control, the results could be disastrous.
- Know How to Handle a Skid
If you’re skidding, turn the wheel where you want to go, otherwise known as “turning into” the skid.
- Slow Down / Reduce Speed
The faster you’re going, the less control you’ll have. We would have made this item #1, because it’s such an important one, but we hope this is obvious advice. A road covered with wet leaves and rain is no time to rush, or test your high-speed skills. So, slow down a bit and keep a healthy distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead.
- Don’t Drive on Worn Tires
Just as slippery old shoes could cause you to fall down, worn old tires will lose their grip from the road. Tires are among the most important safety items in your car, by maintaining grip, allowing your vehicle effectively stop and steer clear of obstacles. Don’t neglect them if you want to be able to respond to potential hazards. A good set of tires will keep you, your family other road-goers and pedestrians safe. Not sure what to look for when buying new tires? We can help!
- Don’t Drive with Poor Wiper Blades.
If you can’t see while you’re driving a two-ton vehicle, that is no good. You can easily replace your own wiper blades, or take them to a shop if you aren’t up to. Also, before you get in your vehicle, make certain there are no leaves sitting between your windshield and your wiper blades. Remove them if they are there.
When it’s time for new tires, or any kind of auto repair and maintenance, check out Openbay. Compare, book and pay for auto repair near you. Drive safely!