Wet leaves make traveling on road dangerous

Slick leaves on road

BRISTOL, Va. - With all of the leaves falling and the rain coming with it, drivers are being urged to slow down to prevent a possible crash.

The first 15 minutes of a rainstorm are the most dangerous because of the oils that are released back on the road after a dry period. We learned that if you pair the oils with recently-fallen leaves, it could lead to one messy conclusion.

"I thought a stick of dynamite went off when I was here in the house," said local resident Junior Burchfield. Burchfield was at home when a car crashed into the kitchen of his neighbor's home, an accident that was caused by wet leaves on the road.

Police tell News 5 this is the worst time of year for accidents involving leaves, especially when drivers are speeding. "If you're traveling too fast and you break, even your anti-lock brakes won't help if the leaves are moving underneath the tires also," said Captain Darryl Milligan.

We learned the leaves are very slippery, especially in curves on the road.

Driving instructor Susan Walling tells us that you should never go faster than 20 mph while going around a curve when wet leaves are present.

We learned that one of the biggest hazards with having leaves on the road is that they can cover up the markings, preventing you from being able to see how wide your lane is and whether or not you can pass other vehicles. "You want to make sure that you're aware and that you look really far ahead of you; about half a mile down the road where some of the leaves might not be pilling up so you can get a good understanding of the width of the lane," said Walling.

We discovered these annoying leaves would not just affect you while driving. "You don't even want to park near them because they can affect your catalytic converter on your vehicle and ignite the car," said Walling.

News 5 also learned that frost in the mornings would also add to the dangers with leaves, so police are urging people to drive safely.

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