1 week ago.
We're into that time of year when leaves start changing colour, the temperature drops a little, and your morning commute brings various driving challenges. It's all part of life in autumn, meaning you, and your car, need to be prepared. Use our top tips to stay safe on the road this Autumn!
Statistically, it’s the autumn months that have the highest number of accidents on the roads with September, October and November, accounting for over a quarter of accidents in 2021.
Darkness can be dangerous
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it's important to be extra careful when driving in the dark. It is good practice to check your car lights before you travel, making sure your headlights are in good working order and clean. Never travel with faulty lights. Also, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination and be extra vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists during the hours of darkness.
It is also handy to keep a torch in the car in case of an emergency.
Beware of leaves
Despite their beauty, leaves can pose a serious threat to your safety whilst driving. You will often find leaves scattered on the roads, potentially covering potholes and road signs. Additionally, during wet weather, leaves can become slippery, so when approaching them, be vigilant, and drive over them with extra care.
Watch out for wildlife!
Vehicle collisions with deer increase significantly from October to December, so it is important to stay alert when traveling through wooded or forested stretches of road. If you see deer warning signs, check your speed and be on high alert. If you spot a deer, be vigilant for others as they often travel in groups.
Check your tyres
Make sure you have enough tread on your tyres, ensuring they adhere to the legal limit of 1.6mm, to grip the road in wet or icy conditions. It's also a good idea to check the pressure and make sure they are inflated to the correct level. Never drive with uninflated tyres as this will increase braking distances and impact the control you have over your vehicle.
Watch out for the sun
With the sun rising later and setting earlier, the sun can become a hazard when driving during the autumn months. It’s common for the interior of a windscreen to be cloudy, becoming more noticeable when the sun shines on it. Before setting off on your journey, clean your interior windscreen with a micro fibre cloth. Additionally, It’s good practice to leave a pair of sunglasses in the glove box and keep a safe distance from the traffic in front, in case of sudden braking.
Autumn months see an increase in rain. You can prepare for this by ensuring your windshield wipers are in good working order. Replace them if they do not clear your windshield effectively. The Highway Code suggests that in wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. So, when driving during heavy rain you should reduce your speed and leave a 4-second gap between your car, and the car ahead.
Additionally, watch out for puddles! They can hide potential hazards like potholes and debris, and can cause your vehicle to ‘aquaplane’ if they are particularly deep. Slow down and proceed with caution when approaching puddles.
Clear off frost
Autumn mornings can see a layer of frost appear on your car windows. Clear the frost off your windshield and other windows before setting off. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least five minutes to do this. Make sure this is done thoroughly so you have nothing limiting your vision whilst driving.
We hope these top tips help you stay safe on the road this autumn!
Protect yourself with GAP insurance!
Every year in the UK, 450,000 vehicles are written off, and another 70,000 vehicles are stolen and unrecovered. It’s important to protect yourself from any potential loss, should your vehicle be written off, stolen or damaged.
Every year in the UK, 450,000 vehicles are written off, and another 70,000 vehicles are stolen and unrecovered. It’s important to protect yourself from any potential loss, should your vehicle be written off, stolen or damaged. Insurance companies usually only pay what the car was worth at the time of the incident, and with depreciation, this can be significantly less than the amount paid for it. GAP insurance can bridge the gap between the value of the car when it was bought, and its value when written off or stolen.
GAP insurance is available from insurance providers, like InsuretheGap.com, and can be significantly cheaper than those offered by car dealerships.