With its crisp, cool air and breathtaking colors, autumn offers some of the most enjoyable driving of the year. Here are some valuable reminders to make your trips even more pleasurable.
Adjust for the light: With the changing season, one minute of daylight is lost every day. Be watchful for pedestrians, bicyclists, and schoolchildren in the dusky afternoon light. Be prepared for extra glare in the harsher light of the morning and afternoon; keep sunglasses within easy reach.
Watch for construction: Fall brings more road construction as crews push to complete their projects before winter. Be vigilant for newly added work zones and rapidly changing traffic patterns. Look down the road for signs and warnings.
Be alert for wet leaves: Falling autumn leaves are beautiful, but they can be incredibly slippery on wet surfaces, making stops and turns impossible. Leaves can also obscure lines, arrows, and other messages painted on the road. When you see patches of leaves, reduce your speed and take extra care.
Watch for wildlife: Fall brings a major increase in breeding and feeding activity in the animal world. Keep a special eye out for deer, elk, and other large fauna darting onto the highway. Where deer crossings are marked, decrease your speed.
Frost alert: When approaching bridges and overpasses, remember that these surfaces often freeze first due to the cold air circulating underneath them. Also watch for shaded areas where patches of black ice can form.