Driving in the fall is a challenge. It is often dark outside, it rains, it is windy, there are leaves on the road and the sun is sometimes low. According to the Road Safety Research Foundation (SWOV), this has a major impact on safety. When the weather is bad, there are twice as many accidents on Dutch roads. So it is good to look at how you can recognize and prevent dangers.
A car must of course always be in order, but in the autumn that is even more important. In any case, check the windshield wipers of your car. After all, when it rains, you don't want those streaks or skip half the windscreen. Good air conditioning is also important (which demists the interior faster) and you should definitely not forget the tires. Are they moving towards the minimum profile? Then replace them, because in the fall you want to have as much grip as possible.
You see it more and more: cars that don't switch on their taillights when it's dark outside because of rain or fog. That's because the driver relies on the automatic lighting. That system finds it in such a situation not dark enough and then only uses the daytime running lights at the front. For better visibility on the road, it is therefore better to switch off the automatic lighting and turn on the headlights in autumn.
You should never tailgate, especially not in the fall. On a wet road surface your braking distance is a lot longer, so it is better not to keep your distance for 2 seconds, but 3 seconds. And be wary of aquaplaning. This occurs when the tires of the car can no longer drain the amount of water, often when you drive through water-filled ruts. If you feel the car 'float', let go of the gas and do not steer. The tires regain their grip on their own.
In a hefty autumn storm, a tree branch can fall on your car just like that. Whether you are insured for this depends on the type of car insurance you have: WA, WA+ or all-risk.
In the summer the sun is your friend, but not in the fall. In the morning and evening - when you go to work, or on your way home - the sun can shine directly in your face, making it difficult to see what is happening in front of you on the road. So take sunglasses with you and also make sure that your car windows are clean. Speaking of which: is your windshield washer reservoir properly filled? In the fall, you better check that regularly.
Hard isn't it, getting out of bed when it's still dark in the morning? In the fall, many people are more tired than in the summer. And if you are tired behind the wheel, the risk of an accident increases because your concentration decreases and your reaction speed decreases. So make sure you are well rested before heading out. If that doesn't work, take a little more rest along the way. And don't set the heating in the car too high. The heat makes you sleepy.
Strong crosswinds can throw your car off course, especially if a gust suddenly yanks at the bodywork. This often happens when you come out from behind the cover of a truck. Then your car suddenly gets the full blast and you are pushed to one side. Be prepared for that.
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