Autumn Driving Advice
Don’t wait until it’s fully dark to turn your lights on, let other drivers see you and ensure you can be seen. If you need to use your wipers then you should consider turning on your headlights and finally, it is good practice to drive on headlights not sidelights.
Note the changes in temperature, which can be quite wide ranging at this time of year and can catch you by surprise, be prepared by carrying appropriate clothing.
Beware of leaves causing slippery road surfaces, especially under trees and when blown into verges by the wind. Braking and cornering can be severely affected in these conditions.
As the nights draw in, take particular care to identify drivers in your blind spot and recognise that in the earlier darkness you may have difficulty judging distance and speed. Take particular care in town especially at junctions and roundabouts where motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and pedestrians are harder to spot in low light conditions, especially if wearing dark clothing. To help with this, you need to ensure your windows (inside and outside), lights and mirrors are all clean and in good condition. Check and clean them now and every time you fill up with fuel (as well as your daily/weekly check!).
Always drive so you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear, don’t just ‘blindly’ follow the tail lights of the vehicle in front, and ask yourself “if the vehicle in front runs into the back of a stationary queue of traffic, can I come to a halt before running into him?”. If the answer is “no” or “not sure” then increase your following distance!
Don’t be tempted to drive with your front or rear fog lights on unless the conditions dictate. The Highway Code Rule 236 states: “You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.” Rule 226 states “You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves.”