Washington is home to some of the biggest and most beautiful trees in the country. State residents and tourists alike head to the deciduous forests in droves when summer ends to see the changing colors.
Those beautiful leaves make the autumn season more enjoyable, and the sights attract tourism money, but it all comes with a downside. These leaves often drift into roads, possibly leading to otherwise preventable collisions. What are the two major ways in which leaves make the roads unsafe?
Fallen leaves make the road slippery
Even a few leaves on the road surface might disrupt the way tires connect with the pavement, leading a vehicle to slide across it. Both wet and dry leaves can affect how slick a road is and lead to people losing control. Slowing down and taking extra care when turning or stopping on leaves can help you avoid the risk that those drifts of leaves create on the road.
Leaves on the road may hide other dangers
If a loss of traction wasn’t concerning enough, fallen leaves could affect your suspension or tires.
There could be a dangerously deep pothole under a big pile of leaves or pieces of broken glass that could puncture your tire. It is not safe to swerve around every pile of leaves in the road. Still, drivers need to be aware of their placements and address their driving accordingly to minimize the risk for themselves and everyone else.
Recognizing different seasonal crash risks will help you stay safer as you travel the open road.