Top 5 Tips for Safe Driving in Autumn

It's Autumn again, the nights are drawing in, and the leaves are turning red and gold. Unfortunately, when those leaves wind up on often wet roads, that's a slippery combination - something no driver is looking forward to.

Avoid potential Autumn hazards and stay safe on the road with these five tips:

  1. Slow Down

It takes longer to stop a vehicle on wet roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front, four seconds at a minimum.

Worn tyres will lose their grip, meaning they won't be at their optimal shape and can become a danger on rain-slickened roads.

Inspect your tyre condition, tread depth and tyre pressure. Replace your tyres if they are too worn.

You can call in for a FREE tyre safety check at your nearest First Stop Tyres & Car Services Ireland, and our mechanics will be happy to check your vehicle for you.

  1. Handle a Skid

A skid happens whenever the tyres lose their grip on the road. Most skids occur when conditions are slippery and are caused by excessive speed. In wet conditions, even a slight turn can create an unpredictable skid.

If you get into a skid, you need to know if your vehicle has ABS (Anti- Lock Braking Systems). After you "Step" on the brake, the ABS begins cycling.  You will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working. It's easy to use antilock brakes properly: Remember - Step, Stay and Steer. Step on the pedal. Stay on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle.

For vehicles without ABS, you'll have to rely on the old-fashioned "Cadence Braking" system: Push the brake pedal until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. Your goal is to have the tyres producing maximum grip.

Avoid skidding by driving smoothly and planning your moves!

 

Slow down.

Ease off the accelerator.

Control your steering.

 

 

  1. See and Be Seen

Don't leave it too late to turn on your lights.

It's important to understand all the lights on your car, and how to use them, especially when driving at night, in the rain, or fog.

Before any journey, you should check that all your lights are in working order. If you discover that the lighting is defective, you should get it fixed immediately.

Correct Use of Lights  

Use your dipped headlights just after the beginning and before the end of lighting-up hours.

Always use full headlights when driving at night; however, don't use them when meeting oncoming traffic, when stopped in traffic, or if you see red lights of a vehicle in front of you.  

Use Fog lights in dense fog or falling snow. Using fog lights in clear weather is a motoring offence, and will risk causing glare or dazzling other drivers (RSA).

Use hazard warning lights when your vehicle is stationary to warn others that your car is temporarily obstructing traffic.

Daytime running lights make you more visible to other drivers.

Improve visibility and safety by using the correct lights when the weather conditions are more challenging.

  1. Keep Your Wipers in Top Shape

Your windscreen wipers keep your windscreen clean and clear, so you have a clear vision while driving. They are essential when driving in wet conditions since it's their job to keep the rain off your windscreen.

Some drivers tend to end up neglecting their wipers, but this could be a mistake.

Do your wipers move slower than they should? When wipers get slow, the problem may be with the wiper motor.

Perform regular car safety checks and if your blades seem to be slower than usual, worn, or damaged, replace them, or get your wiper motor checked.

  1. Clean Your Windscreen

When was the last time you cleaned the inside of the windscreen? Windscreen wipers will get the most of the outside job done, but it's also a good practice to clean the inside of your windscreen. 

We recommend using a microfibre cloth, and a spray for the interior of the glass. If frost occurs, warm your car up and ensure you have good visibility before you drive.

 

Autumn driving in Ireland can present drivers with challenging conditions that require extra precautions. As always, the single most crucial thing all motorists should do is to slow down.

 

When it's time for new tyres or any auto repair and maintenance, find your nearest First Stop Tyres & Car Services Ireland branch. Drive safely!