Top Five Tips for Safer Fall Driving

Fall is finally here. Be sure to follow our top five tips for safer driving this season!

by Mary Wimmer

There’s nothing quite like driving in Ontario during the fall, when our famed foliage turns bright yellow then brilliant red. But charming as it may be, autumn driving proves more challenging for motorists than driving during the spring or summer months.

The transition from long summer days to earlier nightfall, coupled with more vehicular and pedestrian traffic than during the summer, means that drivers must pay extra attention to ensure both their safety and the safety of others. To that end, here are our top five tips for safer fall driving.

  1. Check the weather.

    If there’s one thing that fall weather in Canada is, it’s inconsistent. Be sure to check the weather before you get in your car and drive accordingly. Always be prepared for quickly changing weather, such as storm showers or dropping temperatures that could lead to slippery driving conditions. Remember to be careful of black ice, particularly on damp and rainy days when temperatures are at or around the freezing point.

  2. Avoid driving on leaves.

    Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice to drive on, so avoid doing so if possible. If you must drive on them, reduce your speed and proceed with caution – and avoid braking hard as it can cause your car to slip. Leaves may also hide road lines and other markings, so pay attention to the edge of the road and stay in your lane.

  3. Be aware of lighting conditions.

    Glare from the sun can be stronger in the fall, especially around morning and evening rush hour. Be sure to keep sunglasses in your glove compartment for those days when there is high sun glare, and if it is possible adjust your plans to avoid driving directly into the sun.

  4. Prep your car.

    As with every time of year, it’s important to make sure that your car is road-worthy before driving in it. Make it a part of your seasonal routine to inspect your car and ensure that it is in tip-top shape for the road. That means checking the battery, tire pressure and HVAC system, as well as ensuring that your fluids are all topped up.

  5. Never drive distracted.

    Above all, make sure that you have no distractions while driving. With more cars, school buses and pedestrians on the streets, motorists must have their full attention on the road at all times. Be sure to adjust your heating or air conditioning units, as well as your radio station, before you start driving, and always keep your cell phone on silent and stowed away.

And remember to download the CAA Mobile App to your smartphone for easy access to CAA’s peerless Roadside Assistance program. In the event of a roadside emergency, the app enables CAA Members to call for assistance and transfers their GPS coordinates directly to CAA.