Seasonal Driving Tips: Autumn

We’re lucky in the Midwest; we get to experience all four seasons.  That also means we get to navigate driving under different seasonal road conditions.  And since it’s the Midwest, sometimes we experience a mix of seasonal road conditions all on the same day!

The Missouri State Highway Patrol warns drivers to be on the lookout for the following Autumn road and weather conditions:

  • Kids & Busses – While only some kids are currently back in school buildings, that scenario could be changing very soon.  As kids head back, be prepared for more traffic – especially in school zones, kids congregating at bus stops, and more pedestrians.  Remember Missouri bus stop law states on a two-lane roadway if a school bus is stopped displaying warning signals and is either loading or unloading children, you must stop when both meeting and following the bus. However, it is only necessary to stop on a four-lane highway when following the bus.
  • Falling Leaves – While beautiful, please watch for leaves piling on roadways as they can create slick spots when they get wet.  This is especially dangerous for motorcycles.
  • More Motorcycles – Fall is a popular time for motorcyclists to take advantage of cooler temperatures and the beauty of changing foliage.  Be aware of motorcycles, always use turn signals and allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the motorcyclist.
  • Farm Equipment – Farmers are trying to get their crops out of the fields, so please be patient when their machinery is on the road.
  • Dropping Temps & Frost – Due to changing temperatures, beware of frost which can quickly form on bridge floors in early morning or late evening.
  • Watch For Deer – Deer are crepuscular, which means they are most active during twilight hours – dawn and dusk.  They move in packs, so if you see one there are probably more.  They can suddenly dart in front of your car.  If this happens, it’s usually best to steer straight and slow down instead of swerving right or left to avoid a collision.
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends – After November 1st, it will get dark much earlier.  This may mean commuting in the dark with headlights on.  If you leave work in the dark, allow your eyes 2 to 5 minutes to adjust to the darkness before heading home.
  • Get Winter Ready – It’s never too soon to prepare for the next seasonal driving challenge – winter driving.  Get any repairs or maintenance done now, so you won’t be stranded in the snow later.  Also, November 1st is the date you can put studded snow tires on your vehicle in Missouri.


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