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Prepare for autumn and winter driving challenges

Fall and winter driving are often a bit more challenging than driving during the spring and summer months. There are some special hazards that you should watch for during these colder months. Even though the Columbia area doesn't have horrible winter weather often, it is still important to remember that there are a variety of things that make driving more difficult.

Many drivers will assume that they can continue to drive in the same manner as they have been for the past few months. Unfortunately, those drivers might cause crashes that impact innocent people. Even though these irresponsible drivers might do something that results in a wreck, here are some ways that you can improve your safety on the road.

Take your time

Rushing is an almost certain recipe for disaster. Instead of leaving at the last minute for an appointment, leave a little early. This gives you time to drive safely. If there is rain, frost or fog, you will be able to take your time as you make your way to your destination. Speed limits are the maximum speed you should drive but driving slower when conditions warrant it is perfectly acceptable.

Be careful from dusk to dawn

During the fall months, there is a chance that wildlife will be out near the roads. Deer are a big hazard during autumn months from dusk to dawn. Watch as far in advance of your vehicle as you can and keep an eye on the sides of the road. Even when an animal isn't going to cross your path, another driver might need to swerve to miss it. This could lead to a serious crash if the car veers into your lane.

Protect your eyes

Even though the weather is cooler, the sun's light is still just as bright. When there is snow, frost or fog, the rays might bounce off those to blind drivers. Even a dusty windshield can lead to glares that can make it difficult or impossible to see. Wearing polarized sunglasses might help in these cases.

If you are involved in a crash, remember that you still need to put safety first. If it is chilly out, grab your jacket before you get out of the car if it is safe. Contact emergency services to get a police officer and medics to the scene. Be cautious about what you say since any admission of fault might work against you if you opt to seek compensation for the wreck.

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