Stop! Just because there’s no snow or ice on the roads doesn’t mean Ontario driving in the autumn is any easier. Fall in the province means leaves. Add water to the mix and you can land in a world of hurt.
In this article we are listing out some simple, no-cost and very effective safe driving tips for autumn driving in Ontario.
Washer fluid – Your windshield washer fluid should be topped up at all times. It’s invaluable when leaves and mud are thrown up by cars in front of you.
Headlights – It’s illegal to operate a car without fully functioning right and left headlights, so this one’s a bit of a no-brainer. But it’s never a bad time to check.
Sunglasses – Sun in the eyes breaks your attention and affects your vision. Make sure you have a pair of sunglasses, with prescription lenses if required.
Mindset – Knowing and accepting that there are dangers on the road is essential for driving safely on Ontario roads. Trying to drive like the roads are clear is risky for you and .other motorists.
As temperatures cool tire pressures drop, making them more susceptible to punctures and sudden deflation.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
It’s hard to believe how useful road condition maps are safer and more comfortable driving. Ontario has an excellent service called 511 Ontario which gives a live, real time view of the traffic, collisions and road conditions across the province! It tells you of roadworks, weather hazards and even forecasted driving conditions. Make sure you check a road conditions map before you set off on longer journeys. Not only will you better prepared, knowing the conditions ahead will help you concentrate on driving better rather than getting agitated at every slowdown.
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Treacherous Canada highways and Ontario roads
Why all the fuss about driving in autumn on Ontario roads? Is it just health and safety going bonkers again? There are real dangers and accident statistics are a stark reminder of how changing conditions can catch out drivers unawares.
Driving in the dark (often called ‘night times’) is more dangerous than driving in clear sunlight – fact! The NCBI, an American Medicine and Health body, cites nearly TWICE as many accidents at night, despite traffic being 60% less than in daytime. Autumn driving adds to that risk too, as darkness sets in earlier and earlier. Our circadian rhythms associate darkness with sleep and it takes a few weeks before our brains get used to shorter days and longer periods of darkness. Till that happens, there is a much, much higher chance of drivers falling asleep at the wheel – even in early evenings and mornings.
Bad: You see less in the dark; greater chance of falling asleep at the wheel
Orange is the new black
If you aren’t slipping on black ice, orange red and pink leaves are here to help. Especially after a rain shower, Ontario’s roads become icy as …er… ice. Leaves reduce your car’s cornering and braking capability just as badly as ice. In fact, once they are stuck to your tires, leaves will accumulate into tread patterns and increase the chance of aquaplaning. There is one silver-lining; at least orange is a lot more visible than black (ice).
Bad: Fall colours on the road means skiddy action
Migrations worthy of Nat Geo
Autumn means a change in weather and it’ll seem as though entire food chains are migrating – and they are. Deer, moose, birds and even adorable marmots are like busy bees crossing Canada’s highways. And that’s when accidents happen. Deer, in particular, commonly wander into the middle of the road in the wee hours of the morning. And when you are hurtling along at a 100 kph, there’s not a lot of space or time to avert disaster. Drive carefully!
Bad: Animals can be unpredictable and jump out into the road when startled; very little time to react
The most obvious of safe driving tips: keep your tires pumped up. As temperatures drop, your tires will lose pressure. Bad for your fuel economy, and a rising risk of punctures. Improperly inflated tires can fail catastrophically at highway speeds and throw you into uncontrolled spins. It’s always a good time to make sure your tires are inflated to manufacturer specified levels (normally around 30psi), don’t have cuts or nails stuck in them, and tread depth is within legal limits.
Bad: Risk of serious injuries and fatalities; collisions with other cars on Canada highways
Car rental in Toronto
When you get car rental in Toronto from one of our many car rental locations, you know you will get a vehicle that’s maintained and optimized for the weather. Fully pumped up tires, filled washer fluid bottles – these small conveniences are what draw our customers back to our car rental in Toronto. That, and we go the extra mile to make your journey safer and more convenient.
Follow our safe driving tips and you’ll make the most of a beautiful autumn in Ontario!