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Watch out for wet leaves

During IACP last week, I got into a lengthy hallway discussion with a couple of chiefs from a Midwestern state that touched on about a dozen different officer-safety topics.
In coming weeks I’ll post some of the thoughts we’d shared in that impromptu three-man confab, but today I want to focus on something today that is directly related to another tip I’d posted in this space not too long ago — A sobering tip about driving in weather.

When one of them mentioned how the autumn leaves are particularly spectacular ‘back home’ I immediately replied, “Tell your officers to be careful.”

Like my two newfound friends from the Midwest, police officers in many places in our nation are presently enjoying the full flush of the autumn season, and consequently, there are leaves scattered about on roads, sidewalks, and people’s front porches. Simultaneously, morning dew continues to form (frost is developing overnight in the north and higher elevations throughout the country).

Wet leaves are in some cases even more slippery and dangerous than ice. Be aware of this when you’re driving, walking, running, or anything else. The rubber on your tires and on the soles of your shoes will most definitely behave differently when in contact with those wet leaves.

We talk about safely operating in snow and ice all the time, but leaves can be just as dangerous — more so in cases where it hasn’t rained or snowed lately, leading to a false sense that you’re in “dry conditions.” 

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