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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Autumn leaves Create Hazardous Driving Conditions
Autumn's leaves are wonderful to look at…but when fallen leaves get wet or pile up, they become a unique seasonal driving hazard. Get ready for autumn driving conditions by having your vehicle's tires, brakes and wipers inspected before leaving home.
Most drivers avoid puddles or standing water, because they can cause loss of control. But many drivers, particularly inexperienced ones or those new to a heavy foliage area, are not aware of the dangers of wet leaves.
Just a single sheet of wet leaves can make braking, steering and stopping tricky. These conditions are particularly dangerous at intersections and intensify at downhill stop signs. Affected, too, is acceleration. Accelerating on leaf-strewn interstate entrance ramps and other areas where hard accelerations may be necessary often results in fishtailing.
Even dry leaves can present a challenge. Heaps of leaves can make potholes, curbs and street markings difficult to see. They even present a fire hazard if leaves contact a hot muffler or tailpipe.
For more information about driver safety, The National Safety Commission and Lowest Price Traffic School offer safe teen driving resources for new drivers and their parents.