Pay increased attention to vulnerable road users
React flexibly, reduce speed where necessary, adjust your distance and keep your eyes peeled for dangerous situations – if drivers follow these rules, they will generally be well-prepared for autumnal road conditions. After all, there are plenty of dangers at this time of year.
For example, rain, fog or darkness can limit visibility. For this reason, the windshield should always be free of dirt. “Otherwise, there is a danger that marks and smears will cause unpleasant glare when the sun is low and during journeys in the dark,” warns DEKRA accident researcher Stefanie Ritter. A fully functioning lighting system is also essential for “seeing and being seen.”
You should also be prepared for fog, storms, heavy rain or sometimes even ice and snow, which can significantly prolong driving times. You should therefore always leave early if the weather is bad. A blanket, warm drinks and a few biscuits are useful to have in the vehicle in case the weather slows you down or stops you completely.
Watch out for wildlife on the road, especially near wooded areas. Corn, potatoes and turnips are harvested in many places until November, meaning that more and more agricultural vehicles are on the roads. Dirt from the fields can make roads dangerously slippery. Dangers can also arise from slow driving and partially obscured trailer lights. Particular care should be taken when overtaking.
“At dusk and in the dark, you should anticipate pedestrians and cyclists wearing dark clothing and without any lights,” says Stefanie Ritter. For this reason, drivers should be particularly attentive and drive defensively and pay extra attention to vulnerable road users.