8 Tips for Driving in the Fall

LOW ANGLE, CLOSE UP, DOF: Large 4x4 vehicle drives along a road full of beautiful brown fallen leaves.
Posted: September 21, 2023

Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse—all of New York State, especially Western New York, with its lake-effect blizzards, has a reputation for ferocious winters whose epic snowstorms and frigid temperatures make roads hazardous for motorists.  


But winter isn’t the only season drivers in this part of the country should approach with caution. Though Western New York autumns aren’t as notorious as its winters, fall can be dangerous in its own right. Fallen leaves on the road can, under certain circumstances, be as slippery as ice when they’re wet. And they can hide traffic-control markings painted on the pavement.  


And then there’s fog. And sun glare. And darkness, which comes earlier and lasts longer; the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night, which compromises depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision, according to the National Safety Council.  


Add to all this the increase in child pedestrians that comes with the start of school and the greater likelihood of deer and other animals running into the road during the fall and you have a season demanding driver caution. Autumn weather can be unpredictable, according to AAA. It also has the element of surprise; in winter you quickly come to expect and prepare for hazardous driving conditions. But in the fall a sunny, summer-like day can quickly morph into an ice storm.  


Here are some tips for staying safe while driving during the fall: 


  • Have your car checked. Arrange to have your mechanic check your car’s brakes, windshield wipers, and tires.  
  • Respect wet leaves in the road. They can affect your car’s tire traction.  
  • Watch for Pedestrians – especially children, for fall does mark the start of the school year. 
  • Watch for animals. Deer, bears, and other four-legged creatures are on the move during the fall as they get ready for the winter, so they’re more likely to step into the road. 
  • Guard against sun glare. In early fall, the sun rises and sets in such a way that it can create a strong, blinding glare for drivers, causing unexpected traffic slowdowns. Keep sunglasses handy, remove clutter from sun visors so they’re ready to use, and keep the inside of your windshield clean.  
  • Watch for frost. As morning temperatures drop. slippery frost can form on roads. Sometimes the frost is difficult to see, especially on concrete bridges. Be especially careful on overpasses and in shaded areas where ice can form. And keep your car’s windows free of frost.  
  • Keep your headlights clean and working. Also be sure they’re aimed correctly. Headlights aren’t just helpful; they’re the law. The state of New York requires they be used under certain circumstances.  
  • Remember night falls earlier. When fall comes, the days get shorter and the nights longer.  


Hurt in a car? Call William Mattar, P.C. 


Sometimes, no matter the precautions taken, other motorists on the road may fail to follow the rules of the road.  If you were injured because of the wrongdoing of another, contact the William Mattar, P.C. Our car accident lawyers can advocate for you to receive maximum compensation. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule one, just fill out our online form. Or call 844-444-4444. We’re here to help, 24/7. 

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