Tips for Driving in Fall Weather

Autumn is just around the corner. With the change in season, road conditions vary as well. We’ll see cooler temperatures and more rain, which underscores the important role of your tires.

One of the best tips for wet weather driving is to take your time. Slow down a little to account for the road conditions. Brake sooner than on dry pavement, and start slowly to avoid tire spin.

Wet roads can be most dangerous during the first 10 minutes of a rain shower. The precipitation mixes with oils that have built up on the road, making it exceptionally slick. Slowing down and avoiding quick stops and starts can help you stay safe.

With more rain, the risk of hydroplaning increases. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires are not able to disperse all the water on the roadway quickly enough. A thin layer of water forms between your tires and the roadway, which can lead to a loss of control.

If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, let off the accelerator and gently steer in the direction that you want to go. Jerking the wheel and/or slamming the brakes can cause a skid. If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes (as most produced in the last 20 years do), you can gently apply the brake. The key is to be smooth and consistent in your response.

The condition of your tires can play a key role in how well your vehicle performs in these wet weather situations. Tread depth is key. Deep tread provides better traction and disperses more water, keeping the contact patch of your tires connected to the roadway. If your tires are getting worn, it’s a good time to consider replacement as we head into the rainier season, followed by potential winter weather as well.

In addition to tread depth, ensuring you have proper tire pressure is also important. Improperly inflated tires can affect your vehicle’s handling characteristics and also cause uneven wear on your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of easiest things you can do to extend the life of your tires.

As we experience cooler mornings, it’s not uncommon for your TPMS light to illuminate. Air contracts when it gets colder. Tire pressure can drop as much as 1-2 PSI for each 10-degree decrease in temperature.

You’re welcome to stop by any Plaza Tire Service for a free tire inspection. We will adjust your tire pressure to manufacturer specifications and check your tread depth to let you know how your tires are wearing.

Fall weather brings new driving challenges. With a little preparation and extra care, you’ll be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.