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Fall drving tips for central Alberta

Fall is here. The season has officially begun, which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the changing leaves and the falling temperatures.

However, fall isn’t all about pumpkin spice and crunchy leaves! You’ll need to adjust your safe driving habits as the season gets into full swing.

Tip #1: Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is ready.

Fall presents a unique set of driving hazards – wet leaves, different temperatures, more rain and possible frost or ice, and shorter days. Schedule a fall/winter check to ensure your tires, brakes, defroster, headlights and wipers are ready before you hit the road. It’ll save you time, money, and frustration to prepare your ride ahead of time!

Tip #2: Adjust your driving habits.

The roads can be a bit more slippery in the fall, thanks to the aforementioned wet leaves and added precipitation, not to mention frost and ice in late fall. In order to combat these conditions, follow the speed limit, take turns carefully so your back wheels don’t slide out and using smooth movements to accelerate or brake. Any jerky or abrupt movements increase the risk of you losing control of your vehicle on slick surfaces.

Tip #3: Be ready to drive in the dark.

Driving at night is a lot different than driving during the day! Prepare yourself for more driving in the dark because the days get shorter in the fall, especially as Daylight Savings ends. Remember to turn on your headlights, use defensive driving skills to better spot nighttime hazards, and to leave more distance in between your car and other vehicles in case you need to come to a sudden stop.

Tip #4: Prepare for more traffic.

There are more travelers on the road during the fall, especially around the holidays. This means it could take you longer to get where you need to go, so be sure to plan your trips ahead of time! Have an alternate route planned out ahead of time in the event your normal one is clogged with traffic. If your vehicle has the new technology found in so many cars (like traction control, navigation and real-time predictive traffic), use it.