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Top tips for autumn driving

In the blink of an eye, summer’s drawing to a close. Even if you’ve had your eyes shut since May, you wouldn’t have missed much, as in true form it’s been a traditionally wet British summer.

Despite frequent “threats” that a flash heatwave is on the way, the turning of the leaves and shorter daylight hours show that autumn is undoubtedly nearing.

Here are some top tips for driving in autumnal conditions…

1st central autumn road

Watch out for leaves

As the trees start to shed their leaves on the road it can make driving slippery, causing you to lose control. Take extra care on tree-lined streets and country roads and increase your stopping distances to account for potential skidding.

Be prepared for sun

The low sun in the cooler months can make driving difficult. Rather than squinting, keep some sunglasses in the glove compartment and use your car’s sun visor.

Look out for deer

According to wildlife experts, October and November is rutting season. This is the time stags and bucks rut antlers as they aggressively vie for the affection of female deer.
Deer rutting, although a spectacular sight in nature, means there are a lot more of them about. In fact, more than 42,000 deer are killed on the roads each year, the AA reports.

Watch out for deer warnings, be prepared to make an emergency stop and take added care, particularly on country lanes.

Beware of ice

Although it may not yet be winter, the temperatures can drop without warning. If it’s sunny and warm on a Monday, there’s no guarantee there won’t be ice on a Tuesday.

Keep an eye on your car’s temperature gauge and if things look to be dropping below five degrees, prepare yourself for any transparent “black ice” on the road.

Prepare your car for autumn

  • Replace your battery – if there’s any signs it’s struggling then it’s unlikely your battery will make it through the winter. Change it now to avoid a bitterly cold breakdown
  • Check your lights – you’ll be using them more often as the nights draw in, so triple-check they’re all working
  • Top up your antifreeze – making sure your engine doesn’t freeze up as the temperatures drop is vital if you want to stay on the road
    Top tip: Make sure you get advice from a professional about which antifreeze is best for your car

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