Ah, the fall! Season of foliage, warm colors and pumpkin-spice latte. It’s the time of year we associate with relief from summer heat, beautiful sunsets and colorful vistas all around. It may look like that on the surface but those romantic autumn leaves you like to see falling are, in fact, a clear and present danger to you and your car. In this article, we explore the many hidden dangers of the falling fall foliage.
- They cover the road markings
Road markings are placed to be clear and highly visible signs of both where you are and where you need to go next. As leaves fall through the night, they are blown into the road and can pile up, obscuring these markings from view. It can make driving pretty tricky, especially if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area.
- They’re slippery
Autumn is not only the most colorful and beloved of the four seasons, but also, in many places, a wet season thanks to increased rain and drizzle day and night. That rainfall makes the fallen leaves slippery, which creates ice-like conditions for your car to drive over, especially if you suddenly have to brake.
- They cover holes and bumps
The beauty of the non-fall months of the year are that the road’s defects (as well as markings, see above) are clearly visible as you go along, allowing you to avoid dangers like potholes, and irregular bumps. Well, when they’re covered in leaves, they’re harder (or impossible) to spot. To avoid damage to your car, slow down and proceed with greater caution.
- They get on your windshield
The leaves don’t clock off when you’re setting off on the school run. They’re falling continuously, and leaves could be blown into your windshield both when you’re parked up and when you’re driving along. Clear all leaves from the windshield before you set off, and if leaves blow up into your windshield as you’re driving, don’t panic. Gently brake, turn on your wipers and get the leaves clear.
- They’re a fire hazard!
This is not a drill. If you see leaves piled where you usually park your car, sweep them away before you park up overnight. Your car’s exhaust system or catalytic converter combined with dry leaves underneath can indeed be a fire hazard. Take heed.
So, as you can see, the autumn leaves are not always just a beautiful feature of an October day. They, too, present unique and important dangers to drivers. Stay safe on the autumn roads.
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