The Seasons are Changing & So Are Road Conditions
It is that time of year again. The air is crisp and clean feeling and leaves rain down through the sky in their seasonal glory. Pumpkin patches are regular stops for people looking for a fall-related activity to participate in. Apple cider, spice cake, and warm beverages take over our kitchens and provide us with comfort food.
Change is good. It is part of what provides us the joy associated with the season. After all, if we got to look at Jack-o-Lanterns and drink pumpkin spice lattes year-round, we’d probably get sick of it. But there are some changes associated with the colder weather at the end of the year that we don’t miss. Icy roads, fog, and increased deer sightings are enough to make any driver long for the sweltering days of summer again.
But the change in road conditions doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your love of the season. Here are some things to keep in mind, and some ways to prepare your car for the colder driving conditions ahead.
Extra Items To Put In Your Car
A well-equipped car should always include an emergency kit. Usually, this kit can consist of a first aid box, safety cones, and other equipment, a spare tire, and any other safety items that might make sense to you. But when colder weather comes around, there are other items you should put in your car to ensure you’re always the safest you can be. These include:
- An ice scraper
- Kitty litter or traction aid
- A shovel (usually sporting goods stores will have lightweight aluminum shovels available that fit perfectly in your car)
- A portable charger/solar charger
- Extra food
- Extra water
- Extra set of warm-weather clothing
- An emergency blanket (also available at sporting goods stores)
Don’t take year-round essential items out of your car, like your first aid kit or your safety cones. However, adding these items into your safety items during the winter is your best bet for long-term safety.
How To Handle The Changing Light?
The light during this time of year is one of the last things you think about when driving. After all, when it is light out, there is rarely anything to worry about. And when it’s dark out, that’s what lights are for, right?
Well, it is not that easy. When it gets dark during this time of year, a myriad of different hazards occur. Fog happens more frequently because of the drastic change in daytime and nighttime temperatures. When this happens, it can be sudden onset, making it drastically hard to see very quickly. On top of this, deer are out a lot more during driving times, because they prefer to be out just before and just after sunset when they can move without being seen. This is a perfect camouflage from predators, but unfortunately, it is also an ideal camouflage to your car.
Finally, the chance of glare is heightened during the fall and winter. During this time of year, peak driving times like rush hour are right around sunrise and sunset. This creates a hideous glare as you drive, and that glare can become dangerous. It’s worse when there is snow and ice on the ground because this creates even more glare.
To deal with these light-related conditions, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Always drive with your low beams on during fog. You might think that you can see better with your high beams on, but you can’t – trust us.
- Try to avoid driving during peak deer activity. If you must drive during this time, scan the side of the road every once and a while for the shine of eyes. If you have a passenger, this is also something they can help with.
- Avoid driving where deer are prevalent, including near domestic fields, if you can help it. Believe it or not, deer are more attracted to fields during this time of year because their forage has mostly vanished from the woods. Fields, however, still have bits of harvest left in them.
- Keep a hat and sunglasses in the car to interchange when glare is terrible. It might not sound like much, but it could make the difference in keeping you on the road.
Weather Warnings And Driving Through Snow
Oklahoma’s snowfall can be unpredictable, which means that each year, hundreds of people get caught on the road during a potentially dangerous storm. Knowing what to do in the ice and the snow is significant. Here are some things to keep in mind during these times of the year.
Brakes: It is much harder to brake on snow and ice because the traction between pavement and tire is what normally gives us such excellent handling. When snow and ice are expected, it is best to give you and your car time to brake. Leave at least a car’s length per 10mph between you and the vehicle in front of you during poor weather. And be sure to test your brakes every once and a while to ensure you can come to a complete stop when you need to.
Turns: Never turn quickly during a snowstorm or on ice. This could cause a rollover or a bad accident. Instead, try tapping the brakes before going around a corner. Slow down as much as you need so that you don’t end up off the road.
Lights: At the first sign of snow, turn your lights on. Even if you can see perfectly well in front of you, likely, oncoming traffic cannot see you. To prevent an accident on the part of another driver, make yourself as visible as possible to them by illuminating yourself and the path before you.
Zeck Chevrolet wants drivers to be constantly aware of their safety and the safety of others on the road. We’re sure that these vehicle safety tips are a good start, but it’s also essential to maintain a safe vehicle. If your car needs an inspection, or you feel like you need a whole new vehicle to prepare for the winter, stop by our Purcell, Oklahoma location at 1601 North Green Avenue.