As summer days give way to the crisp embrace of fall, it’s a magical time to be on the road. However, transitioning seasons can bring unique challenges. Whether you’re a recent graduate of driver’s education or a seasoned driver, these tips will help you smoothly navigate the changing conditions as fall settles in.
Mind the Early Sunsets:
Fall means shorter days and longer nights. As a new driver, you might find yourself driving during dusk or even in the dark earlier than in summertime. Be sure your headlights are working correctly, and always turn them on at least 30 minutes before sunset if your car does not have an automatic setting for your headlights.
Watch Out for Wildlife:
Fall is mating and migration season for many animals, which can lead to increased wildlife activity near roadways. Be especially vigilant during dawn and dusk, and reduce your speed in areas with warning signs about deer crossings.
Beware of Wet Leaves:
It’s not just rain, ice and snow that make roads slippery. Falling leaves can make roads slippery too, especially when they’re wet. Slow down when driving on leaf-covered roads and avoid sudden braking or sharp turns.
Prepare for Fog:
Cooler mornings often bring fog, which can reduce visibility significantly. If you encounter fog, use low-beam headlights, reduce your speed, and leave extra space between your car and the one in front of you.
Be Ready for Temperature Swings:
Michigan’s fall weather can be unpredictable. Keep a jacket, blanket, and an emergency kit in your car. Also, have a working ice scraper on hand for those frosty mornings.
Keep an Eye on Road Construction:
Michigan’s road construction season often extends into fall. All hail the orange barrels!! Be prepared for lane closures, detours, and slower traffic in work zones. Be prepared to navigate a different route than you’re used to.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance:
With the possibility of wet, foggy or slippery roads, it’s crucial to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This gives you more time to react if you need to stop suddenly.
As we all make the transition from summer to fall in Michigan, remember that safe driving is all about being prepared and staying attentive. And, hey, enjoy the changing scenery, the vibrant foliage, and the cozy vibes of fall too! But remember to always keep safety first!