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Fall Driving and Tire Tips

Don’t Take Leave of Your Senses when the Leaves Start Falling.

  • Shorter days, colder temperatures, falling leaves, rain and fog...all make for tricky fall driving. Both you and your car need to be ready.
  • If you’re a soccer mom, a football dad, a carpooler, a retiree planning a tour, are your tires up to the drive ahead? Stop by Tire Barn for a free tread check. While we’re at it, we’ll top off the air for you.
  • It’s back to school. Watch for walkers and bikers.
  • When a school bus flashes its red lights, the traffic approaching from either direction must stop. Most bus drivers will flash yellow lights first. Stop at least 20 feet from the bus. In some states, you must stop even on the opposite side of a divided highway.
  • Falling leaves are picturesque, but wet leaves are as slippery as ice. Drive sensibly, particularly where leaves cake the pavement.
  • Leaf piles are a magnet for kids. Keep an eye out for children jumping, burrowing, and hiding in raked leaves next to the curb. Never drive over leaf piles.
  • Don’t park over leaf piles, either. Hot mufflers and catalytic converters can set dry leaves on fire, as can sparks from your exhaust.
  • Before you start out, brush the leaves from your windshield and from under the wiper blades. Wet leaves cause streaking that makes it impossible to see.
  • Periodically, clear the leaves from the air intake to your defogger. Check at the base of the windscreen, or under the hood at the back of the engine compartment. The next downpour, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Deer are especially active in October through December, during the breeding and hunting season. Use your peripheral vision to spot animals before they enter the roadway. At night, watch for eye reflections.
  • Keep a pair of sunglasses, a ball cap, or a visor handy. At this time of year, the low angle of the sun can make it difficult to see.
  • Use common sense when driving in rain. Reduce your speed and watch for standing water. On multi-lane roads, drive in the middle lane to avoid puddles along shoulders and curbs.
  • In fog, dim your headlights.
  • As temperatures drop, watch for black ice, especially on country roads and streets shaded by trees.

Fall Tires

All-season radial tires are well-suited to fall driving conditions—as long as they have sufficient tread for drizzly weather. That means more than the legal minimum of 2/32 inch. Give your tires the Quarter Test. The tread should cover the top of George Washington’s head when he’s turned upside down in the grooves. That indicates 4/32 inch of tread, much better for sluicing away rain.

When temperatures dip below 45 degrees, it’s time to think about winter tires. Winter or “snow” tires are made from softer rubber that does a better job of gripping cold pavement. Winter treads are also specifically designed for snow and ice. Studded winter tires provide extra control, but wait for snow pack. Studs don’t perform well in rain.

Tire Barn is New England’s headquarters for winter tires—and your best source year round for passenger, light truck, economy and performance tires. We carry a huge inventory of all major brands and models and many less common tires. Our tire specialists look forward to helping you select a set for your vehicle. You can even shop and request your tire appointment online.


For even more great information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions section!


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