APC Driving Advice for Leaf-Peepers: Drive as if You’re on Ice

Fall in New England is a gorgeous time of year. No wonder we don’t think about the dangers the season poses to unwary drivers.

When wet leaves accumulate on the road, they become extremely slippery. Driving on wet leaves can be just as dangerous as driving on black ice. That’s because nature specifically designed leaves NOT to allow water to penetrate. Instead, water sits on top of the leaf’s waxy coating, creating a film similar to that found on ice.

What’s a driver to do?  Take turns slowly, drive smoothly, and allow ample distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Don’t jerk your wheel, brake suddenly, or accelerate quickly. If you drive too fast, you may experience difficulty stopping in time, causing you to rear-end another car or simply lose control. 

Don't brake on leaves.  Drive slowly through them and avoid hard braking.

Accumulating leaves can also obscure lane lines, other road markers, potholes and bumps.  Pay attention to the edge of the road and take care to stay in your lane.

Tempting as it maybe, NEVER drive through a leaf pile. Children enjoy jumping into the leaf piles or burrowing down into them and hiding.

Don’t park your vehicle over a pile of leaves, either, to avoid the possibility of a fire hazard from the exhaust system or catalytic converter.

And, remember this ice advice that feels counter-intuitive to most drivers:  If you do begin to skid, turn your wheel into the skid to regain control of your vehicle.

True winter and ice driving will be here before we know it. Watch for more cold weather driving tips from APC Driving.