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5 fall hazards for Illinois drivers

Although Illinois fall weather may not reflect what most people consider to be autumn, the temperatures will soon drop here as well. Either way, autumn comes with its own road hazards you should know about to prevent an auto accident.

While some of these are applicable to any driver in the nation, some are particular to the Midwest. Beware these dangers to have a safe trip.

1. Rainy weather

Wet roads mean less traction for your tires and slick areas that make it easy to lose control of your vehicle. Slow down to ensure you have enough time to stop and make last-minute maneuvers to avoid an accident. Check if your tires have enough tread or if you need to replace them.

2. Light and darkness

The glare of the sun grows stronger this time of year. Keep sunglasses in your vehicle and keep your windshield clean. Be careful when driving at night, which also comes earlier with the season and daylight savings. Most accidents occur during dark hours, so stay alert and use your lights.

3. Deer

The presence of deer on the road increases in fall. Hunters, crops and mating put these creatures on the move. Pay most attention during dusk and dawn and in places where there are lots of crops and woods. Drive slowly and use your high beams in rural areas. If a deer comes into your path, do not swerve! Take your foot off the brake before hitting the deer to reduce the chances of it going through your windshield.

4. Leaves

While beautiful to look at, leaves bring many dangers. They decrease traction, especially when wet, and can obscure other road hazards. Burning leaf piles by the road damages the pavement and releases smoke that can interfere with your vision. When possible, take routes that are clear of leaves.

5. Farm equipment

Harvest season means more farmers riding tractors and other big, slow equipment on the roads. Only pass these machines when it is safe, being sure to avoid the driver's blind spots. Watch for wide turns as well to prevent a collision.

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