Fall and Winter Driving Safety Tips

Driving safety is important all year long, but the potential for extreme road conditions during the unpredictable Utah fall and winter seasons requires extra diligence and care. With wet, cold weather, you will inevitably encounter a plethora of dangers on the road.

Here are some of the best ways to keep you and your family safe on the road this season.

Fall Driving

Fall is beautiful, but it’s also unpredictable. Temperatures fluctuate quite frequently, and the sun sets earlier in the day. This makes for some driving scenarios that require extra preparation and care.

One of the most important things to be mindful of in fall is school traffic. Kids are getting off and on buses, pedestrian traffic increases, and the number of cars on the road during your commute increases.

Rain is also a big factor in the fall. When it hasn’t rained in quite some time, a sudden downpour can cause water to pool on top of dust and oil that have built up on the road. This can make the roads extra slippery and dangerous.

The leaves are what make fall, well — fall. While the changing colors and falling leaves may be beautiful, they can also be hazardous. As the leaves fall from the trees and land on the road, they can obscure traffic lane markings and make the road slick. Cool fall mornings mean an increased chance of fog, which can hamper your ability to navigate the roads safely. Make sure when driving through fog that you only use your low beam headlights and take it slow, giving the cars in front of you plenty of space.

Frost is an impending sign of winter, and in the autumn, frost can quickly form overnight. This leads to icy spots on the road, especially on bridges, overpasses and shaded roadways.

Winter Driving

Once fall gives way to winter, it’s time to hunker down and prepare for the more risky conditions on the road.

Have your car inspected to make sure you have ample antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid, so that you can maintain adequate visibility. Slow down and take your time when driving, even if you have an SUV or four-wheel-drive vehicle. Try to avoid sudden stops or accelerations if the road is wet or icy. Make sure you give the cars around you plenty of room too.

Remember, you may be the best driver on the road in winter conditions, but other people may not be as capable.

Road safety experts recommend against using your cruise control features when driving in treacherous conditions. When you use it while driving in snow or ice, you may be unable to gain control quickly enough if your car skids. You want to maintain precise control of your car, and cruise control won’t help.

Finally, when it’s really bad out, just stay home. No trip or errand is worth risking your life, or that of your family.

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Running Condition

Although you can’t control weather conditions or the actions of other drivers on the road, you can increase your odds for safe travels by keeping your car well-maintained. Viking Automotive, serving Midvale and the surrounding communities of northern Utah, can provide all the automotive maintenance service necessary to keep your vehicle running safely. Schedule your appointment today to help ensure your fall and winter driving safety.

 

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