Auto Bits: Best fall driving practices

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Brandpoint photo

Tip of the Week

Fall is often associated with such pleasantries as back to school, beautiful foliage, a spooky Halloween and Thanksgiving feasts. What is often lost and forgotten are the safety hazards associated with the season while out on the roads.

Fifty-six percent of Americans are planning to take a fall road trip, and 51 percent are planning on driving at least 500 miles, according to Hankook Tire’s latest Quarterly Index. With all these miles being logged on U.S. highways and streets, it is best to take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and those on the roads.

- Slippery when wet: Fall foliage is, without a doubt, a grand sight. But once leaves hit the ground, raking isn’t your only concern. Speeding over wet leaves can lead to losing control of your car. In addition, fallen leaves can serve as prime cover for potholes and ditches that can result in flat tires, blowouts, or even more serious structural damage to your vehicle.

- School is in session: With young children and teens back at school, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for an increase in pedestrian traffic and school buses that make frequent stops. Hankook’s Gauge Index found that only 37 percent of people pay more attention behind the wheel when school is back in session. With decreased speed limits in school zones, school buses loading and unloading, youth biking to school, and the occasional free-spirited daredevils crossing streets at their own discretion, the reasons for being attentive during this time abound.

- Trick or treat: Not paying attention while driving on Halloween can lead to a true fright fest. Forty-four percent of respondents say they drive more carefully when trick-or-treaters are out on Halloween. With excited kids on a sugar high patrolling the streets in all types of costumes, often in the dark, their safety is a prime concern. In fact, just last year Safe Kids USA released findings that showed on average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year.

- Brandpoint

Did You Know

Consumer Reports recently named the Toyota Highlander the best midsize SUV. The Highlander received praise for its gas mileage — 25 mpg with the hybrid, 20 mpg standard engine — among other things.

The List

According to Allstate Corp, the big cities with the worst drivers are:

5. Providence, Rhode Island

4. Springfield, Massachusetts

3. Washington, D.C.

2. Boston

1. Worcester, Massachusetts

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