Even though the leaves in Overland Park are just beginning to change, this week’s snowstorms in the Upper Midwest should be a reminder to us all that autumn is here. Of course this means more nighttime driving and a re-acclimation to frosty roads and foggy highways.
Here are some things to keep in mind in order to switch gears to fall road conditions as safely as possible:
- Be aware of fading daylight. We lose one minute of daylight every day this month! Make a mental note to turn your headlights on earlier and reduce your speed in places frequented by pedestrians or wildlife. And on the other end of the spectrum, fall sunrises can be blinding.Be sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy before beginning your commute.
- Examine your headlights. Be sure to keep your auto headlights meticulously clean and bright for optimal performance. Wipe them down every time you clean your car’s windshield. You should also examine them for yellowing, fog or scratches, which can reduce visibility by 50 percent or more (and detracts from your car’s appearance). If your lenses look milky, foggy or yellow, or you can’t see the bulb through the lens, it’s time to have them repaired or replaced.
- Check your tire pressure. With frequent weather and temperature changes in Overland Park, tires can expand and contract, causing them to lose air pressure. Make sure tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Don’t underestimate the power of wet leaves. Even if it’s above freezing, roads covered with wet leaves have the potential to be as slick as ice. Leaves can also get stuck to windshields and wipers and reduce visibility. Be sure to remove all leaves from your windshield before getting in your car, and avoid parking under trees to help reduce this nuisance.
- Be aware of frost. Remember that any moisture can quickly turn into frost overnight. We’ve all heard Bryan Busby say a thousand times, “Watch the bridges and overpasses in the morning.” This is because those road surfaces lose heat from all sides, not just from the top, and thus they freeze first. So be sure to slow down if the roads are wet during your fall commute, and remind any new drivers in your home to take Bryan’s warnings seriously.
- Schedule a fall safety check. Fall in Overland Park is the perfect time for a tune-up, brake service, oil change, coolant flush, or any of our auto maintenance services.