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Friday, 7 October 2011

Fall Road Safety Tips Part 1

Although most people don't think about it, fall presents its
own unique set of safety issues. 
As we enter fall, it's important to remember that the season presents its own safety issues. Most drivers, this writer included, tend to forget that winter is not the only season that requires extra vigilance on the road. This season of colourful trees and beautiful sunsets has unique risks that must be kept in mind.

Check your tires
As the temperature drops, remember to check your tires on a regular basis. If you recall from high school science class, temperature and pressure are directly related. Simply put, the lower the outdoor temperature, the lower your tire pressure. Because temperatures begin to seriously drop in fall, it's important to check your tire pressure whenever you have a chance. Not only will this make you safer on the road, it will make your vehicle more fuel efficient, saving you money at the pump.

The rule of thumb for tire pressure is that for every 5 degree Celsius change in weather, there is a 1 psi (pounds per square inch) drop in tire pressure. A drop of 6 psi below the recommended pressure could lead to tire failure, so it's important to check your tires when there is a dramatic drop in temperature.

Be sure to have the right anti-freeze
As the weather gets chillier, low-temperature anti-freeze becomes essential to safe driving. There's nothing worse than having your windshield solution freeze up on you while you're driving. Make sure you have anti-freeze rated for winter, in case the weather drops dramatically.

Inspect your windshield wipers
Not only is it important to have the right anti-freeze, the right wipers are also essential. Cold weather in the fall can make windshield wipers brittle and ineffective, and so it's important to have wipers that are rated for winter weather.

Avoid all-season tires
All-season tires are effective for most of the fall season, when the weather is mild. However, once the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, it's important to exchange your all-season tires for winter tires. Winter tires are better able to cope with colder weather, and handle snow and slush much better due to their unique tread pattern. 

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