If you’re taking your hire car onto the roads this autumn, here are a few ways to make your journey safer.
Autumn. Season of lengthening shadows, foggy starts, blowing leaves and (usually) loads of rain. But driving your rental vehicle in autumnal conditions doesn’t have to be a chore when you follow these simple tips:
1. Take your sunglasses
Throughout autumn the sun never climbs as high in the sky as it would in summer. That can present a glare hazard at any time, and particularly during rush hour when the sun can be low enough to slip below most car sun visors. Take your shades.
2. Keep the windscreen clear
That low sun can be particularly hazardous on dirty or streaky windows, causing glare and inhibiting your ability to see the road ahead. Before you start your journey, check the windscreen of your rental vehicle and clean it if necessary, and if you do experience glare, slow down.
3. Slow down on leaves
Wet, compacted leaves can cause almost as great a skid hazard as ice, and don’t be fooled into thinking the risk is only in rural areas. If you’re driving beneath lots of shedding trees, drop your speed.
4. Watch the wet
The rain’s one thing, but add it to high winds and standing water and driving conditions can get tough. If you’re out in one of our hire vans or rental cars, remember to leave greater space between you and the vehicle in front, reduce your speed when passing through standing water so you’ve less chance of aquaplaning, and keep your speed down generally.
5. Watch the wildlife
If you drive routes peppered with red triangles warning you about deer, chances are you ignore them because spotting a deer is a real rarity. But not in autumn. Mating season (September-November) brings more deer into the open, and they’re most often spotted in the early morning or evening (often when the sun is at it’s lowest, just to add to the hazard level).
Drive with caution.
Don’t use full beam lights when driving in fog at night as the fog bounces the light back causing a white-out. Instead, opt for dipped lights and fog lights. Fog also plays tricks with distance, so increase the gap between your hire vehicle and the car in front, and drop your speed.