Autumn is a beautiful time of year. With the temperature dropping and leaves changing colors, you might enjoy shopping for a new sweater or taking your children to pick apples.

With the change of season, however, can come different driving challenges. You may drive to, and home from, work in the dark and school buses might test your patience by repeatedly stopping in front of you.

Deer often dart across the road, fog decreases visibility and roads become slick in the rain. Fortunately, defensive driving tactics can help you avoid a potentially-dangerous motor vehicle accident.

You might be wise to:

Reduce your speed

Exercise caution around busses since children don’t always consider their surroundings.

Check your tires

Rapid changes in temperature can cause your tires to expand and contract. Maintaining your manufacturer’s recommended Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) can help your tires last longer while preventing them from failing due to under-inflation.

Scan for wildlife

Wild animals can run out in front of your vehicle without notice, which is especially dangerous at night. Checking the sides of the road for light reflecting off a deer’s eyes may enable you to steer clear of expensive auto repairs and bodily harm.

Use your running lights

High beams tend to create glare from rain and fog, rather than improve your visibility. When you’re struggling to see the road, it’s best to keep your lights low and take your time getting to where you need to go.

Allow space

Allowing yourself greater-than-usual following distance increases your reaction time to stop in case something happens to the car in front of you.

As always, you should focus on the road and the things happening around you when you get behind the wheel. And although you may not be able to predict everything that could possibly go wrong on the road, knowing how to address common driving hazards can help you safely enjoy the fall season.