When it comes to objects that can damage a car windscreen, few would consider falling autumn leaves to be a prime suspect. After all, these are light, soft pieces of dying plant life that float gently down once they have shuffled off their mortal twigs.
However, while there is no chance leaves themselves could cause impact damage, the arrival over the coming weeks of the rust-coloured cascade will bring some threats to your car that could leave you suddenly needing a windscreen replacement.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, they can fall on your car and get into vents, clogging up electrical systems and even the air ventilation systems you need to avoid window fogging. Apart from anything else, that makes it harder to see and more likely you might have an accident, damaging your windscreen and much else besides.
Secondly, wet leaves on a road present a skid risk, which can also lead to accidents. However, perhaps the biggest problem is they can camouflage debris and potholes, meaning your car and others on the road can suffer all kinds of damage, as well as hitting pieces of debris that can fly up and strike the windscreen.
All this comes at a time of year when there will be a range of other perils for your car. The later sunrises and earlier sunsets can mean more times when you are driving in low sun and at risk of being dazzled, while poor light means you are less likely to spot hazards.
Winter will also bring the risk of skids on ice and snow, while even gritted roads are not without risk, as occasionally lumps of grit congeal and can cause windscreen damage the same way stone chips on a newly-laid road can.
However, the fact is you won’t have to wait until the coldest and darkest times of the year before the first seasonal perils emerge, so beware the falling orange peril.