Fall Road Safety in Kansas City
Fall is one of the busiest times for road trips, even with the kids back in school and the weather changing. 28% of Americans travel around Labor Day in the fall, according to AAA. That’s almost one in four Americans. Many people traveling during this period will encounter dangerous situations, and some will even be in accidents. If you are traveling during the fall season, you can avoid running into these situations by preparing yourself and your passengers for the potential of danger.
The greater Kansas City area is blessed with relatively calm weather during the fall. However, just because most days are calm doesn’t mean that safety should be skimped upon. Zeck Ford wants to keep you on the road this fall. Here are some tips for keeping you, your family, and your friends safe while you travel.
Check Out Our Fall Safety Tips
Keep an Eye Out For Deer
You’ve probably seen deer at every time of year, but they are much more prevalent in the fall. Deer are crepuscular animals. Unlike diurnal animals, which come out during the day, and nocturnal animals, which come out during the night, crepuscular animals are active mostly during twilight. During autumn, sunset and sunrise happen earlier, which means more people are on the road during peak deer time.
Additionally, deer forage for food in the woods during the summer, when plenty is available. During the fall, food and cover are less abundant in the forests, so the deer come into places like farmland and the outskirts of towns to look for food in populated areas. Dawn and dusk help hide them from predators, but also shield them from drivers. Keep an eye out for deer if you do have to drive during the times they are out the most.
Check and Replace Car Parts
A lot of rain happens during the fall. This can be dangerous for frequent drivers or vacation takers. If you make sure to keep the accessories and parts on your car up to date, you can make sure you are as safe as possible. Replace the wiper blades on your vehicle in anticipation of a little extra rain during the autumn season. Make sure you have chains in the back of your car in case you encounter a rogue winter storm. Finally, have your tire pressure and brakes checked so that you don’t find yourself stranded on the side of the road.
Be Careful Of The Sun
There is less total daylight during autumn. However, the glare of the sun in the morning and the evening during the fall is much more distracting to drivers. This is due to the position of the sun in relation to the horizon. Keep a pair of sunglasses handy in your car during autumn to prevent dangerous driving conditions due to the sun.
Watch Your Brakes
Braking is always one of the most dangerous parts of driving. Some things to watch out for that are autumn-specific are hydroplaning, ice, and leaves. Most drivers understand hydroplaning because it is something they were taught in driver education courses. However, the danger of fall leaves is often brushed over. Do not brake on fall leaves, especially on hills and at high speeds. Your car’s tires will be unable to brake efficiently, and it could cause an accident.
Beware Of Black Ice
Black ice doesn’t happen as much during the rest of the year because it takes specific conditions to form. It forms from the rapid freezing of airborne moisture. The change from warm and wet autumn days to drastically cold evenings is the perfect time for black ice to form. Drivers are particularly prone to black ice because it is nearly impossible to see from the car. You can avoid black ice in the car by steering clear of places it might pop up, like shaded areas, bridges, and curves. If you happen to hit black ice, keep your steering wheel straight and avoid hitting the brakes as much as possible until you are over the patch.
Be Aware Of Other Drivers
Leaf peepers, family vacations, and work trips all cause an increase in traffic during the fall. One of the most dangerous road conditions you can ever encounter is other people. Road trippers might not think twice about others on the road. But with extra drivers sharing the road, distraction rises. The end of summer and early fall is one of the worst times of the year for accidents. Keep an eye out for other drivers, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. This will help keep you and others safe.
Drive Safe In Fog
Fog happens throughout the year, but it picks up during the fall when the days are warmer, and the nights are much cooler. Fog is caused when the air is carrying extra moisture and the temperature changes quickly. Water condenses into the mist you see when the cold air meets the warm moisture.
The best way to avoid the dangers of fog is to avoid driving during peak fog times – mainly at nighttime or near sunrise. If you must drive during these times, be sure to drive with low beams and keep an eye out for deer.
Be Ready For Darkness
Lastly, remember that there is more darkness during this time of year than there usually is. Be sure you plan your trips around this fact. Plan lots of time to drive during the day, and check your headlights and brake lights before you go anywhere. Re-pack your emergency kit and be sure it includes flares and a flashlight. Darkness doesn’t have to limit your trip, but it can make it a little more dangerous. Being prepared is the best way to stay safe.
Vehicle maintenance doesn’t have to take the fun out of a road trip or family vacations. But vehicle safety should always take precedence. At Zeck Ford, we pride ourselves in the safety of our Ford trucks and SUVs. For the best selection of cars in Leavenworth and Kansas City area, or quality vehicle maintenance, visit Zeck Ford today.