You know that winter weather presents some daunting driving challenges. However, you shouldn’t overlook the hazards that come when the leaves start to fall, and the days get shorter. Here are some of the dangers that come with this change of seasons.

Fallen leaves

Okay, they’re not quite the same as ice and snow, but leaves can make roadways dangerous. Add some water to a layer of leaves, and you have a warm-weather ice rink. If you happen to be driving during or after a late-season rainstorm, slow your speed and take extra caution when traveling over a leaf-covered roadway.

Deer crossing ahead

Autumn is deer breeding season. The morning and evening hours bring the most activity. Take extra care if you notice a deer crossing sign on the side of the road. At night, when traffic allows, use your high beams to provide additional illumination to the sides of the road.

If a deer does pop out ahead of you and you can safely avoid hitting it, you should do so. However, if you don’t have time to make a safe evasive maneuver, you should brace for impact. A sudden swerve could cause you to hit another vehicle or a tree and may lead to more severe injuries than you would have suffered if you just continued on your path.

Take time to adjust to short days

The longer nights as we head into winter can be a dangerous time for drivers. The hazards only increase when daylight savings time ends. Most fatal crashes from October to March occur between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Pay particular attention to pedestrians when it begins to get dark out or if a low sun angle is making it difficult to see. Be aware that setting your clock back can impact your sleeping patterns. Take care to avoid drowsy driving.

By taking extra precautions and giving fall weather the same deference you would winter, you can help make the roadways safer this season.