Those vivid falling leaves, of course, are one of the most iconic features of the season. Each drifting crimson or gold masterpiece, on its own, likely doesn't pose much of a hazard...but a number of them together, plus a little rain, can be seriously slippery. This is something to look out for as we drive to and from all of the events of this busy season. For those of us on whose properties leaves tend to collect, it's something that requires proactive and ongoing management. If leaves accumulate on the roof or in gutters, they can, over time, damage your home. Leaves on your driveway, sidewalk, or yard could be a slip and fall risk for your family and guests, or could obscure the view of features or objects on your property that might cause someone to trip and injure themselves. In short, left unchecked, fall leaves could become a liability issue. It is important for homeowners and business owners to be diligent in their fall landscape management efforts to keep conditions safe for all who come onto their property.
And how about the dropping temperatures and shorter hours of daylight? Are you and your vehicles prepared? Driving visibility is less in those darker hours. Be careful, and make sure your headlights and signals are in good working order. Many cars' headlights are on automatically whenever the car is running (we love this feature), but if your car's lights are strictly manual, don't be afraid to turn them on a bit early, as opposed to late, to help make sure the other day-into-twilight commuters can readily see you. In addition to being ready for more dark-driving, your normal morning and evening commute may suddenly include a differently-timed blaze of sunrise or sunset, so take extra care (and maybe a good pair of driving sunglasses).
Fall is a big season for sporting events and outdoor activities, which can mean more people out and on the move in places and at hours they might not be at other times of the year. Add to that seasonal changes in animal behavior, migration patterns, etc... deer, birds, pedestrians...all merit an extra measure of awareness and adaptability to help keep you and them as safe as possible.
With the changing temperatures, frost on roads, bridges, overpasses can become a factor. Assure your tires and brakes are in peak condition, watch your speed, and allow extra following distance. Where possible, time or alter your route to accommodate seasonal changes. As always, keep a close eye on tire pressure, too, which can be affected by a number of things, including fluctuating temperatures.
It can be easy for many of us to be in a hurry as we hop in our vehicle to go wherever we are going. It may be tempting to ignore a bit of frost or condensation, or scrape just a strip so you can "mostly" see, but, no matter how short the jaunt, please don't EVER skimp at all when it comes to visibility! It's well worth the few extra moments to assure you have the full, clear view needed any time you are behind the wheel. Make sure you have a high-quality windshield scraper (or two) in each of your vehicles, and that the heating and defrost functions of your vehicles are performing optimally.
It's easy to think now, on this summer-like first day of fall in Franklin TN and Middle Tennessee, that there's plenty of time to get around to these things, but we encourage you to be ahead of the game.
Fall is a season of change. Think ahead, prepare, and plan now so that, as this amazing season (that is so especially amazing in this part of the country) progresses, you'll be ready and free to fully enjoy it all as safely as possible.
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