Wet leaves on roads can be just as slippery as ice

NOW: Wet leaves on roads can be just as slippery as ice

Here in Michiana, we've been seeing vibrant reds and oranges hanging from the trees as we make our way through the fall color season - but as we near the end of the season's peak, more trees are shedding their leaves, dropping them on cars, sidewalks, and lawns.

They may seem harmless, but did you know that falling leaves can be dangerous to drivers?

Leaves already have a waxy surface, but when they get wet, fallen leaves can become just as slippery as an icy road in winter. Cars driving through large piles of leaves at high speeds can lose control and slide.

The required distance for cars to stop safely can increase dramatically when roads are covered in wet leaves - many drivers may need to triple their stopping distance to safely come to a full stop.

Things can get especially tricky when temperatures drop low enough overnight for the leaves to freeze, creating an even more slippery situation for drivers.

The best way to stay safe is to go slow, but if you find yourself gliding on a leaf covered road, take the same steps as you would on an icy day - take your foot off the gas, don't hit the brakes, and turn your wheel toward where you want your car to go.

It is also important to keep in mind that leaves could cover up road markings and potholes, so it's best to pay attention to road signs and avoid leaf piles when possible.

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