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Leaf Peeping Fall Driving Safety Tips

Whether you’re ready for summer to be over or not, rest assured fall is here! Many will take to the New Hampshire roads for fall foliage driving tours leading them to some of the most scenic routes for breathtaking fall colors.  New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Scenic Byway, running through the White Mountain National Forest, is one of the most renowned for its autumn leaves, making it one of the top road trips during the fall leaf-viewing season.

But let’s remember, it’s also a time when road and weather conditions make getting there a little tougher. Following some of these fall driving safety tips will help keep you safe as you enjoy the cool crisp air and the beautiful colors of your fall leaf peeping tours.

While the changing colors of the foliage is certainly a site to see, when the leaves begin to fall, they can make the roads slick and obscure traffic lines, pavement markings, and hide potholes.  If it also rains, it can then make those wet leaves as dangerous as ice on the roads.  Remember also, that leaf-peeping drivers tend to drive much slower and make unpredictable stops to take in the fall beauty.  Therefore, if you are driving behind a car with out-of-state plates, be patient and give them extra space in case they stop short for a photo opportunity.

Fall mornings are colder which often leads to fog, which tends to occur in low places surrounded by hills, water, mountains and trees. The conditions can greatly limit your visibility and perception of distance while driving.  And, putting on your high beams only makes visibility worse because your high beams will bounce off the fog and create glare.  In fog, you should slow down and stay well behind the car in front of you—giving yourself adequate time to stop if needed.  Colder temperatures can also lead to morning frost and icy spots on the road, especially common on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas on the roadway.

Fall sunrises and sunsets can be very brilliant and bring with them one of the biggest driving concerns–sun glare. The sun perfectly aligns with east/west roadways during this time and it can impact your sight for seconds after exposure.  Sun glare can make it difficult to see pedestrians, oncoming traffic, the car in front of you, or traffic lights.  Drivers often times describe being “blinded” by the sun, and this sometimes leads to accidents.

Autumn marks the beginning of deer breeding season and they are more apt to run into the roadway especially at dawn and dusk when deer are more active. Deer often travel in groups, so be aware and proceed very slowly if you come across a deer trying to cross the roadway.

Here are some fall driving tips:

  • Drive a bit slower when faced with fall driving hazards.
  • Remember summer vacation is over and school buses, making frequent stops, are back on the roads, in both the early morning and mid-afternoon hours.
  • Leave a bit more space between you and the car in front on rainy/foggy days, during dawn or dusk, and in areas with wet leaves. This will give you more time to react.
  • Keep your headlights on low when driving in the fog and rain. High beams will only make it worse.
  • Clear frost away from your windows.
  • Sun glare can make it harder to see traffic lights change, so approach them carefully.
  • Clean your windshield, inside and out: Sunlight, dust particles, streaks, and smudges become magnified, which will make it hard to see the road.
  • Watch for wildlife in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Check your tire pressure as the fall temperatures rapidly changes from warm to cold, causing your tires to expand and contract and can lead to a loss of pressure.

At Kenison Law Office, we understand that car accidents are a traumatic experience.  That is why we offer not only great legal advice, but also compassion for our clients. Let us advocate for you by contacting us at (603) 471-3550 or through our website:


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New Hampshire Fall Foliage Driving Tours

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