Driving in the fall may seem relatively mild compared to the driving conditions in the winter, but the truth is autumn brings more dangers to the roadways than you might expect. Changing weather, shorter days and other unexpected hazards can result in severe damage or injury if you don’t prepare yourself and your vehicle. Here are three surprising fall driving hazards and what you can do to avoid them:

1. Darkness

With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself driving in more darkness than usual. Driving at night significantly reduces visibility, and oncoming vehicles can temporarily blind you with their headlights. Be sure your windshield and headlights are clean to avoid dangerous glares and increase your visibility on the road.

2. Wet conditions

Fall often brings a lot of rain and wet weather. While you should always take extra precautions when driving in inclement weather, this is especially true when the roads are covered in leaves. Wet leaves can be just as slippery and dangerous as ice on the road. Make sure you take it slow when the roads are slick in the fall and leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.

3. Deer 

Fall is deer mating season, which means you’re likely to see more of them on the road this time of year. Drivers are also 3.5 times more likely to hit a deer in November than any other time of year. If a deer crosses in front of you, do your best to brake safely and not swerve away from the animal. Swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or hit another object.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Massachusetts, but it isn’t without its risks on the road. By giving special attention to these hazards this season, you can ensure you always reach your destination safely.