Autumn Leaves Present Driving Hazards

Fall is the picture-perfect time of year when many drivers take to the road to view the autumn colors. The leaves are beautiful to see, but when wet or in piles on the roads, they present driving hazards unique to the season. The Car Care Council reminds drivers to prepare for fall driving conditions by having their vehicles’ tires, brakes and wipers checked before heading out on the road.

“Drivers should be aware that wet leaves on the road surface can make stopping difficult, and piles of leaves can obscure potholes, curbs and street markings,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Add to these hazards the fact that road conditions can change from ideal to miserable in a matter of minutes, and what you have is a potentially dangerous situation. ”

Tires can affect the car’s ride, handling, traction and safety, and are a critical connection between the car and the road in all types of driving conditions. To maximize tire life and safety, check the inflation pressure and the tread depth, and inspect the sidewalls for cracks or punctures. As a general rule, tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles and balanced.

The brake system is the car’s most important safety system. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, and brake linings, drums and rotors, as well as brake fluid, should be checked at each oil change.

To help ensure the performance and safety of wipers, blades should be replaced every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering. Windshield wiper fluid should be checked monthly and only washer fluid should be used.

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