Driving through autumn: tips from IAM RoadSmart

Blog post posted on 23/09/19 |

Driving through autumn: tips from IAM RoadSmart 

It's now officially autumn so we’re going to take a look at some of the hazards you may come across. Follow these tips by IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, to make sure you stay safe whilst driving throughout autumn.

  • Check your battery before the winter arrives. In winter we often place a strain on the battery with lights, heated screens, seats and the air conditioner to demist and keep us warm. If there are any sign of your car battery struggling now, it’s likely to let you down as it gets colder
  • Prepare for darker mornings and evenings. You’ll be doing a lot more driving in the dark when autumn hits, so ensure you’re confident whilst driving in the dark
  • That low winter sun can be an issue so keep a pair of sunglasses in the car and also make use of the sun visor too. If you are dazzled, slow down immediately
  • Now is the time to check your antifreeze levels. The good thing about antifreeze is that it contains additives that prevent corrosion and rust, and during the summer it helps keep the engine from overheating
  • Top up the windscreen washer with de-icing additive - the colder it gets the stronger the solution needs to be
  • Check your windscreen wipers. If they begin to blur the front/rear window or begin making an awful squeaking noise, it’s time to replace them with new ones
  • Have a look at your car headlights. It is dangerous for you and for the other road users if your lights do not work properly. Changing a bulb is often a complicated job these days so do it at home and not at the roadside
  • Leaves or pine needles on the road can turn into a mushy film which obscures potholes, road markings and increases stopping distance. Anticipate problems when you approach woods and trees and slow down until the road is clear
  • Watch out for animals. October through to December is considered the highest risk of deer collisions in the UK, so take notice of any wildlife signs that you come across and take extra care
  • There may be more distractions over the next few months with events taking place, such as Guy Fawkes night. There may be fireworks going off so ensure you’re alert for any scared animals that may run into the road. Also, Halloween is approaching, so you’ll have some ghouls and ghosts walking the streets so be sure to look out for them

Richard said: “As the temperature drops, your car is a nice cosy place to be when it is working properly - sound preparation will help your journey go smoothly.

“Frosty mornings and falling leaves might be picturesque but they can cause all sorts of problems, particularly for two-wheeled road users. Give motorcyclists and cyclists more room and anticipate their actions.

“Drivers also need to stay alert for blocked drains and localised flooding at this time of year. Your aim should always be to have a clear view of the changing seasons around you, and for other road users to be able to see you.”

Do you get anxious about driving in the dark? If you’d like to improve your driving and gain the confidence to drive at night have a look at our Advanced Driver Course. You’ll go out in your own car, with a professional who will able to talk you through your concerns and improve your driving.


Notes to editors:

1.      Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.

2.      IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com

To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups

Media contacts:

Further information from:

IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 

press.office@iam.org.uk / www.iamroadsmart.com

ISDN broadcast lines available

Follow us:

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart

On Twitter: @IAMRoadSmart