Fall Weather Week: Seasonal driving challenges

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – With cooler temperatures and changing leaves, Autumn can be a great time to get outside and go for a drive. But the change in season can also bring changes in driving conditions.

“With any season change, your driving conditions are going to change,” Atlas Driving School Instructor Shakisha Stringer said. “So, driving in the Fall is different.”

With decreasing sunlight and increasing moisture, the most common driving hazards in the Fall include fog, frost, fallen leaves and rain.

Decreasing daylight hours can mean your commute to school or work may be in the dark, which limits your visibility. Stringer said drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and make sure their lights are turned on.

Fog is one of the biggest driving hazards in the Fall.

Stringer said you need to make sure you are driving with low-beam headlights. High-beam headlights can make visibility worse because the bright light bounces off of the fog and reflects back into your eyes.

On rainy roads, check your tires, slow down and make sure you have good, working windshield wipers, she said.

Fallen leaves can also have a big impact on road safety. When they become wet, they can be potentially hazardous. The main concern is loss of tire grip.

“You can have less traction with the leaves being wet. So, definitely, you want to be careful when driving,” she said. “Just slow down.”

Driving fast and braking quickly on wet leaves can cause your vehicle to spin out of control. The best way to be safe while driving on wet leaves is to treat the leaves like ice: brake slowly and no excessive speeds, Stringer said.

In the Fall, wet days and falling temperatures can lead to icy road conditions. And cold nights can lead to conditions like snow and frost.

Stringer also mentioned deer are seen more often in the Fall. She said drivers should always drive slowly to avoid any unnecessary collisions with animals that suddenly emerges from the trees.

Driving classes can help drivers gain better knowledge of what to do and what not to do on the road.

“We teach them defensive driving. Driving in different conditions. The main rules of the road to keep them safe,” Stringer explained.

Most insurance companies offer discounts for classes taken by new drivers or refresher courses taken by experienced drivers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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