Beware of the deer!! A safe autumn driving guide from OSV

All you need to know about Safe Autumn Driving

Autumn Driving Tips

Autumn is a deceptive season. As motorists, we expect harsh conditions in the winter – and they normally arrive with plenty of advance warning. During autumn though, it’s often all to easy to get caught on the hop. Whether it’s a burst of unexpectedly low sunlight, an un-forecasted cold snap or a patch of freezing fog, there are plenty of things to catch us unawares so that’s why an awareness of safe Autumn driving procedures is a must. What’s more, drivers who’ve recently taken out car lease deals on vehicles they’re relatively unfamiliar with are particularly prone to problems. Here’s a checklist of things to check to ensure you stay safe driving in autumn from OSV Ltd.

Tyres

Regular checks of your tyres throughout the year are recommended; not just for safety but also because bald tyres can prove to be a very expensive business if you’re pulled over, inspected and fined.

The statutory minimum legal treat depth is 1.6mm. For safe Autumn driving, it’s recommended you maintain a depth of at least 3mm. Given that you can expect isolated icy spells from October onwards, now’s definitely the time to consider replacements if your tyres are looking a little too smooth.

Engine

Antifreeze performs a useful function all year round as it’s designed to prevent corrosion as well as stopping your engine freezing up. Normally it should be included as part of any servicing checklist for safe Autumn driving. It’s always worth checking the concentration before winter begins in earnest. A word of caution though; antifreeze is potent stuff and can cause considerable damage to your engine if used in the wrong quantities. It’s worth getting a garage to check it if you’re unsure what you’re doing.

Windscreens

If you think that water and washing up liquid will ‘do the job’ instead of proper washer fluid, think again. Also, now’s the time to top up the washer fluid with a purpose-made additive to reduce the chances of the solution freezing during a cold snap (Don’t use engine anti-freeze). Drivers with recent car leasing deals on new vehicles would be advised to read their handbook to check they’ve located the right reservoir before they top anything up.

This is also a good time to replace worn wiper blades. Autumn is the season when most of us are particularly likely to find ourselves driving in low sunlight from time to time. Unworn blades can make all the difference when reducing dazzle as they’re that much more effective at clearing the screen from the grease that tends to magnify glare.

Lights

Bulbs should be checked at least once a week in any event – and this is especially the case of safe Autumn driving as the long nights draw in. Patches of freezing fog can sometimes appear from nowhere – so as autumn approaches, it’s worth checking on your fog light from time to time as well. Drivers with recent car leasing deals on new vehicles should consult their handbook on how to replace the bulbs to avoid loose fittings.

Battery

Once you turn up the heating as autumn sets in, it puts that extra pressure on your electrical load. Drivers who are coming to the end of their car leasing deals may be starting to notice signs of wear and tear with their battery. Being caught stranded because of a dead battery is annoying enough at any time. It’s even more of a hassle when you’re left out in the cold. Now’s definitely the time to invest in a replacement battery if you’ve got any concerns about how your current one’s holding up.

Wildlife Beware!

Most of us would probably rate the chances of hitting a deer as a pretty remote threat. For safe Autumn driving, there are however a couple of good reasons why it’s worth heeding those familiar deer warning signs we see on country roads. For one thing, the number of deer roaming the British countryside has doubled in the last 10 years. You may also be surprised to learn that somewhere between 40,000 and 75,000 deer are struck each year. This is the rutting season when deer collisions are particularly common.

Dip your full beam if a deer approaches to prevent it from freezing in your path. It’s generally best to slow down as much as you can but to continue in your path; swerving can cause a loss of control and a collision much worse than the impact with the animal.

Do you have any advice to give on Safe Autumn Driving?

Andrew Kirkley
Latest posts by Andrew Kirkley (see all)
  • 4th October 2013

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