Autumn marks the time of year when our nights grow longer and the weather becomes notoriously wetter. It’s important to carry out particular safety checks in order to prevent an unwanted accident.
Prior to driving you should check:
You don't want to risk having to jump start your vehicle at the side of the road!
Your car battery can be put under more strain in colder weather, so an unexpected breakdown is much more likely. Car batteries usually last around 5 years so if it’s near the end of its life, it’s best to get it changed before the worst of the weather kicks in.
Be seen! Keep yourself and others safe.
As the nights grow longer, the likelihood you'll be driving in the dark will increase. Having bulbs that work correctly is highly important, and throughout this season they should be checked every few weeks. Consult your handbook for reference on how to change your bulbs correctly, but if you’re still unsure then you can make a short trip to your garage.
Tyre Tread Depth
Check your grip so you can keep control.
The recommended tread depth for winter is 3mm, as it ensures you have the correct grip to deal with the changing conditions. Correct tyre pressure is equally important, and can help with fuel economy. Changing a tyre now is much more beneficial than in mid winter.
The last thing you want is your engine seizing up at the start of the school run.
Antifreeze is designed to help stop corrosion and assist with engine cooling throughout the summer. Keeping your antifreeze at an appropriate level helps your engine work to its full potential. Make sure you check your handbook before you commit to filling up, as using the wrong one can result in costly damages.
Be able to deal with the changes in the road.
An increase in high winds can result in more obstacles appearing on the roads. Checking the suspension prior to driving enables your vehicle to deal with any expected bumps or changes. Head over to your local garage and they'll get your car fit and ready to face the autumn weather.
Keep your view as clear as possible.
If your wipers are over 2 years old then they will need replacing, otherwise they are not likely to clear your view properly. Due to more leaves, rain and hail hitting your windscreen, it’s important to keep an eye on your wiper fluid so you're able to clear your screen properly, and reduce the chances of getting distracted whilst on the road.
It’s not just your car you should check, certain autumn conditions can affect the way you tackle the road:
Dazzle/ Sun Glare
Your regular times of driving now might see you encountering the low lying sun which can become dangerous very quickly. To prevent being dazzled, ensure you have cleared your windscreen appropriately and taken care of any scratches. Always carry a pair of sunglasses with you and utilise your sun visors. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, take time to slow down to optimise your safety.
Rain, fog and wind can all alter the way in which you drive your vehicle. Each day can bring a new weather front so it’s important to be prepared. Ensure you’re keeping an eye on your speed as braking distances can increase in the wet weather, as well as fog distorting how fast you think you’re travelling.