There are a lot of things to love about fall. Beautiful colors on the trees, crisp air and cooler temperatures, all things pumpkin spice – those are just a few of our favorite fall things. As much as there is to enjoy about the fall season there are also some potential driving hazards that come with it too. Here are some reminders of fall driving challenges you should be looking out for this fall.

1. Wildlife

Wild animals are on the move during the fall season. Some animals are migrating south for the winter while others are more visible because of mating season. Deer, especially, will be out more often than other times of the year. They’re most active at dawn and dusk. Some precautions you can take are:

  • Look out for the shine of deer eyes from your headlights.
  • Be on alert when you see deer crossing signs.
  • Of course, you must ensure your headlights are functioning correctly and never drive faster than what your headlights can show you.
  • Be aware that if you see one deer, there are likely others nearby. \If you do see a deer, don’t swerve. Brake and keep your truck straight. Even if you hit the deer, this is the option that allows you to maintain control of your truck and will cause the least amount of damage.

2. Weather Changes

This is the time of year when weather conditions can change to winter conditions unexpectedly. Check weather reports along your route regularly so you know what to expect. When you do your truck checks, ensure your heating and cooling systems are working well. Fog and rain are also common during the fall, so schedule your day to allow for delays or slower driving due to visibility. Frost can appear on your windshield as early as October. Always inspect your wipers and mirrors, be on the lookout for black ice and make sure your windows have defrosted before getting on the road.

3. Night Driving

The days are much shorter during the fall, particularly with the time change. This means more driving when it’s dark out. Increase your following distance and take extra caution when passing. It’s also important that you get enough sleep and do whatever helps you stay awake and alert driving in the dark.

4. Farming Equipment

It’s harvest season, which means in addition to normal traffic, you might share the road with farming equipment on highways this time of year. Whether it’s tractors, trailers hauling animals, combines or other equipment, these vehicles will travel at slower speeds. Make sure you maintain a safe distance when following one of these farming vehicles. If you need to pass, only do so when you are sure that it’s safe.

4. Bright Sunlight

It may get darker earlier in the fall, but this also means that there are changes to sunlight that you aren’t used to. As we head into winter, the sun moves southward and closer to the horizon. Therefore, during the fall, you’re more likely to experience sun glare on the road more often than other times of the year. Not only should you remember this as you drive, but it’s also important to watch out for other, less experienced drivers who may be caught off guard by the sun glare. We also recommend getting a quality pair of polarized sunglasses.

5. Beware of Leaves

You’re probably wondering how leaves can be a hazard, right? When leaves accumulate on the road, which they tend to do during the fall, they can create a slippery surface just like ice when they become wet. When you see piles of leaves on the road, it’s a good practice to slow down.

In addition to these fall driving hazards, it’s also important to ensure your family and belongings at home remain safe while you’re gone. The time change in the fall is a great reminder to switch out the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Have your furnace serviced now, before it gets cold enough to need it. A professional will be able to check for leaks and other issues that can cause major problems.

If the changing of seasons also makes you feel like making a change in your career, we’d love to talk to you about why Carter is a great fit! Reach out to us today to learn about our competitive pay packages and weekly home time.