Roadway Precautions For Driver, Passenger Safety

Clouded skies, slick roads, early sunset, condensation on your vehicle windows--autumn driving poses new risks for drivers.

That is especially true for fall’s first rains. Oil and contaminants embedded in summer roads leaches to the surface in autumn.

Take our autumn driving safety quiz. Don’t worry, you won’t be graded and the results are for your eyes only:

Q. How can you help other vehicles see you on those dark fall afternoons? 

A. Drive with your headlights on during the day. Many modern vehicles already feature daytime running lights, which can help alert oncoming traffic to your presence. Standard daytime running lights activate automatically when the vehicle's handbrake has been pulled down or the vehicle is put in drive.

Q. How can you increase visibility during foggy driving?

A. Use low beams in foggy conditions and fog lamps, if your vehicle has them. High beams reflect light back at you and reduce visibility. Fog lights may be used anytime of day.

Q. How can you keep yourself and your passengers safe during a roadside emergency?

A. Keep a reflective safety vest in your trunk.  Every emergency roadside kit should have a reflective safety vest. Made of high-visibility materials and accentuated with patches of reflective tape, safety vests are invaluable for drivers who find themselves stranded after dark. Buy something that is going to last. Look for vests with reinforced stitching along the edges.

Q. How can you help other drivers see your stopped vehicle?

A. Keep a package of flares in a waterproof container. Flares are inexpensive, low-maintenance and relatively easy to find. They’re safe to use, easy to deploy and are fully self-contained, meaning they require no batteries or other power sources to operate. Flares have no expiration date when properly stored.

Q. What’s one of the most useful accessories every driver should keep in their gloveboxes?

A. An flashflight is one of those must-have, indispensable accessories for all drivers. And if you’re investing, choose an LED version. The bulbs burn brighter than traditional bulbs and can last for around 50,000 hours. They also use less power, so the batteries last long as well. They’re truly an invaluable tool when trying to find your way around at night.

Q. How can you alert drivers on a dark night?

A. Reflective triangles and safety cones are easy to store. Not just for construction zones, reflective triangles and safety cones can help set up a perimeter around a disabled vehicle. This is especially useful at night or in foul weather.