Fall’s Leaves Can Become a Driving Hazard

Fall’s leaves are beautiful to see, but when they are wet or in piles, leaves present a driving hazard unique to the time of year. Russell Speeder reminds drivers to prepare for fall driving conditions by having their vehicles’ tires, brakes and wipers inspected before heading out.

Most drivers know that puddles or standing water can cause loss of control, and they adjust their driving accordingly. But fewer drivers, especially inexperienced ones or drivers new to an area with many trees, are aware of the dangers of wet leaves.

A single layer of wet leaves can make braking, steering and stopping very difficult. This effect is particularly dangerous at intersections and is intensified at downhill stop signs. Plus a vehicle’s ability to accelerate can be affected, too. Fishtailing can result on leaf-strewn highway entrance ramps and other areas where hard accelerations may be necessary.

Even when dry, leaves can present a challenge. Piles of leaves can obscure potholes, curbs and street markings and even present a fire hazard should leaves contact a hot muffler or tailpipe.

Russell Speeder reminds its friends that tires can affect the car’s ride, handling, traction and safety, and that they are a critical connection between the car and the road in all types of driving conditions. To maximize tire life and safety, check the inflation pressure and the tread depth, and inspect the sidewalls for cracks or punctures.

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