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Stay safe with our autumn driving checklist

With summer over it’s time to start getting you and your car ready for autumn driving. Take a look at our checklist and get reacquainted with everything you need to know about autumn on the roads. 

Driving a car on the Autumn roads

We love to moan about the weather, but the summer of 2018 really will go down as one of the memorable ones. Remember the parched yellow lawns, the jam-packed beaches and the sweltering temperatures?

Well, September’s getting off to a reasonable start too, but we’ve all got to face it – autumn is well and truly on its way now. Just take a look at all the fallen leaves already…
 
This might be your first autumn driving your own car. Or you might just want a little reminder of all the things to take care of as you prepare your motor for the colder, wetter weather. Our Autumn Auto Checklist is just what you need to help stay safe on the roads.
 
Before you set off, make sure you check…

Tyres
 
To be legally roadworthy, tyres need a tread of at least 1.6mm, but if they’re below 3mm you’ll already find the grip wearing off – and you don’t want to be slipping and sliding around on wet roads so make sure your tyres are in good condition.
 
Antifreeze
 
Top up your antifreeze and, if you’re unsure as to which one to use, get professional advice on which is the best for your car. Autumn can get chilly, so you don’t want your engine freezing up when the temperatures plummet.
 
Battery
 
Get your battery checked. They don’t tend to last much longer than about five years, so if it’s on the wane you’ll be wanting to replace it before the winter sets in and you’re left with a flat battery in the freezing cold.

Bulbs
 
You should be checking your lights every fortnight or so throughout the year, but as autumn starts and the nights draw in, you’ll be using your lights increasingly more so make sure they’re working. Make sure all your lights work — including your fog lights — and consult your handbook or a mechanic if you’re not sure how to change them.
 
Washer fluid
 
With rain, fallen leaves and maybe the odd bit of hail hitting your windscreen, it makes sense to check your washer fluid levels to help keep your vision clear. It’s also a good idea to replace the wipers themselves if you’ve had them for over two years.

When you’re on the road watch out for…
 
Fallen leaves
 
The autumn leaves might look pretty, but when they fall they can be a bit hazardous on rural roads and tree-lined urban streets. Take extra care on these routes and keep more distance from the vehicle in front of you, so you can factor in longer stopping times.
 
Adverse weather
 
Rain, fog, wind, maybe even a bit of hail and ice. When autumn hits you never really know what the weather’s going to bring next. Rain and ice can make surfaces slippery and affect steering and braking, while fog can seriously impede visibility so keep speeds down and make sure your fog lights are working.
 
Sunlight
 
Everyone loves a bit of autumnal sunshine, but when you’re driving the glare from the low sun can be dangerous and distracting, especially when it’s flickering through the trees. Keep a pair of good sunglasses in the glove compartment, make full use of the sun visor, and clean your windscreen.
 
Longer nights
 
The shorter days mean you’re going to be driving at night a lot more so check your lights thoroughly and practice driving in the dark to build up confidence – particularly if you spend a lot of time driving in rural areas.
 
Children
 
The schools are back which means there’ll be a lot of kids on and around the roads at the beginning and the end of the school day. Pay particular attention when driving through school areas and be careful of schoolchildren on bikes and scooters.
 
Wildlife
 
You might have noticed that October and November are rutting season, when stags and bucks rut their antlers as they compete for the affection of female deer. It’s certainly a spectacular sight, but it does mean there are a lot more deer about in rural areas.
 
Tens of thousands of deer are killed on our roads each year – but if drivers take that little bit of extra care when driving on rural roads, a lot of these deaths can be avoided. Be careful of other wildlife, too, especially if you’re traveling in woodland areas or rural lanes.

All set to go now? Then drive safely, and keep us bookmarked so you can check out our regular driving news updates. They’ll keep you in the know and one step ahead.
 
And by the way – here at 1ST CENTRAL we’re very proud of our car insurance. It’s Defaqto 5 Star rated, meaning we provide one of the highest quality offerings currently on the market. Curious? We bet you are. Get a quote here and let us impress you!
 

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