Living in West Virginia in the fall season is an idyllic time. With so many trees bursting with red, orange and yellow colors, everyone who lives here probably has a favorite drive they like to take—to enjoy all the beautiful scenery or perhaps explore more hidden nooks in this state. However, taking a fall foliage daytrip does have some road hazards.
To avoid an accident in fall, here five road hazards drivers should be aware of.
- Deer mate in the fall, especially in November. As a result, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are 3.5 times more likely to hit an animal this time of year. Also, pay special attention for deer at dawn and at dusk, when they are more likely to be out near roadsides.
- Wet leaves. You might not think about it, but all those beautiful leaves that fall on West Virginia roadways can become very slick when they are wet, making it difficult for drivers to navigate over them. Also, early morning frosts can make a bed of leaves on the roadside especially slippery, so drivers should always proceed over leaves with caution.
- Tire tread and pressures. Now with winter not that far off, you should probably take a moment to inspect your tires. Tires with thin tread don’t stop quickly in rain, ice or snow, which can easily cause you to lose control of your car in slick conditions.
- Sun glare. Sun glare can become intense this time of year, especially right after sunrise or sunset. Don’t pack away any summer sunglasses just yet—keep them handy in case you need them. Also, remember to keep your windshield clean for better visibility.
- More driving in the dark. Once Daylight Saving Time ends on November 3, many commuters will face the possibility of driving in the dark both on the way to work and on the way home. Making sure your car emergency kit has a reflective sign or flares is always a good idea this time of year. You may need these to be more visible to other motorists in case of emergency. Also, be aware that with longer periods of darkness, your body is more tuned in to sleeping longer. You may have a harder time staying awake at the wheel if you are doing a longer drive and need to take a break.
By staying alert to any roadway hazards this autumn, you’re more likely to stay safe. Plus, you’ll be more in tune how the weather is affecting road conditions—what you’ll need to do every day behind the wheel during winter, when ice and snow make driving even more treacherous.