The transition from fall to winter in Michigan makes driving even more precarious than normal. It is not quite either season, so you have to be ready for the conditions of both.
Although a nuisance, this preparation effectively increases your safety on the road and decreases the likelihood of an auto accident. Some of the most common dangers this time of year include the following environmental hazards.
Rain is great when you are comfortably indoors but not so enjoyable when driving. Rainy weather makes the roads slicker, giving your tires less traction so that it is easier to lose control and hydroplane if you speed, swerve or stop suddenly. It also limits your vision and visibility to others. Make sure your windshield wipers and headlights fully function. Slow down your speed and leave a greater distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Do not drive through large puddles as you may misjudge their depth.
Snow and ice
You never know when snow will hit, whether it be a light snowfall or a heavy blizzard. Prepare your vehicle now by taking it in for an inspection, installing new tires and stocking the trunk with emergency supplies. Stay or get off the road in dangerous weather to avoid getting stuck in snow. Watch for areas with black ice, such as bridges. Slowing down is crucial as braking on ice is more challenging and riskier, especially on curvy roads.
Poor lighting means more difficulty in seeing hazards and other motorists. Use headlights even in the daytime when natural lighting is dim, such as in fog. If you are on a dark backroad, turn on your high beams, remembering to turn them off when you see another vehicle coming so you do not blind the driver.
Fall and winter can also bring too much light. The position of the earth means a glaring sun that the visor does not always shade you from. Keep your windshield clean and wear sunglasses or get a visor extension. Doing whatever it takes to enhance vision will cut down accident risk.