Wet leaves are as dangerous as driving in snowy conditions
The shades of cherry colored leaves are definitely an attraction for drivers. While it’s mostly safe to take glimpses during scenic fall trips, drivers should be aware of the potential dangers for fall driving.
“We wouldn’t think about it, fall being so beautiful, but when those falling leaves hit the roadway they can be very slick because it’s something between your tires and the road surface,” Lauren Fix of Car Care Council said, adding, “Driving this time of year is like driving on snowy pavement.”
We at the Insurance Center are committed to safeguarding your family and feel obligated to share some tips this driving season.
When driving, here are 4 tips for safe driving this fall.
- Keep a safe driving distance
Leaves are most dangerous on roadways after some rainfall. Besides the leaves reducing the friction on the road, leaves excrete oils when it rains which worsens friction even further. As a direct result, drivers should stay away from other cars as much as four times the distance they normally would.
- Be mindful of hidden dangers
Leaves can obscure potholes and other road imperfections from the driver’s point of view. Hitting potholes, especially big ones, can be dangerous because tires can become lodged into the road causing your vehicle to swerve sideways, potentially leading to a car accident or worse, bodily injury. And most importantly, never drive into a pile of leaves because children can be playing inside of it.
- Clean your car as if snow were on it
It’s advised to remove leaves from the exterior of your car. Not only can the leaves damage the paint and finish of the car, but it can also clog car parts like air filters.
- Your car could ignite leaves
Believe it or not, your car can catch fire from fallen leaves. Although it’s not likely to happen, there have been reports about leaves catching fire from the heat of catalytic converters. Needless to say, avoid parking over piles of leaves whenever possible.
For more information on safe driving habits, contact an Insurance Center agent at 603-542-2551.