As we enter the fall season, there are things as responsible and proactive drivers do to prepare for the climate and road condition change. Fall weather in Ontario is known to be foggy and have an increase of precipitation. The cars should be equipped, as should the driver. Whether you drive a new vehicle or a used car, there are always a few things that can make the car respond better. Below, is a checklist of things to prepare your vehicle for the upcoming seasonal change:
Car Preparation Checklist
- Check all your lights; make sure every single one of them are fully functional.
- Consider installing aftermarket fog lights if the vehicle is not equipped with them. Some European cars will have front and back fog lights.
- Check tire type and tread. Ensure a safe percentage of tread is left and tread pattern is appropriate for the wet season.
- Check tire pressure and ensure the tire is not over inflated nor under inflated.
- Check windshield washer fluid level and top up if needed.
- Recommended to have a jacket or a thick sweater in the vehicle in case of emergency situations.
- Once your vehicle is prepared for what is to come, now is time for the driver to mentally prepare for the drive. Statistically speaking, 25.6% of car collisions occur during the transitional fall season. Why would this be? Every single time the road condition changes, a lot of drivers forget to readjust their driving style/habits in accordance to the terrain at hand, resulting in the car losing control.
Be mindful that your vehicle has limits and know how far you can push your car before the car loses grip. The most common issue we have in terms of road conditions in the fall would have to be hydroplaning on wet surfaces. Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water prevents contact from the tire to the ground. When you are hydroplaning, you must not apply brakes in a harsh manner and do not steer the car in a dramatic way. The best thing to do is to ride the couple of seconds out while having a firm grip on the wheel. Below is a checklist of things to me mindful of when driving your vehicle during the fall season:
Driver Preparation Checklist:
- Ensure that once your car is started, all your lights are turned on. A lot of import vehicles are not fully automatic so even if the front lights are on, the backlight will not be lit.
- On rainy days, set aside extra time for commutes. Do not rush yourself into an accident.
- Be gentle with steering the vehicle; do not jerk the car while driving on wet roads.
- If driving through foggy areas, do not be afraid to utilize the four-way blinkers of your car if you do not have fog lights. Some foggy conditions will not allow you to see anything in front of you.
- Be more alert of your surroundings; watch other cars and their movements. Do not be a victim to another car’s hydroplane accident.
- Do not tailgate. Regardless of the season, you should never tailgate other drivers but when the roads are wet, your chances of causing an accident while tailgating increases.
These checklists will assist you on a safer commute during our climate change. Please be responsible, be safe and respect the car that you drive.