Spring is here and the warmer weather is upon us! As we turn the corner into the new season, road conditions are changing as well. Here are a few tips to ensure safe and enjoyable spring driving:
- Share the road. When the weather turns warm, more and more people are out and about, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. I’m sure that we all have noticed, on more than one occasion, someone walking and talking or texting on their cell phone. They may be jogging, with their ear-buds in, while listening to music. Pay special attention to these individuals as they may be unaware of the traffic around them.
- Slow down on residential streets. Warm weather brings children out to play. Drive slowly, and be sure you are carefully scanning the roadway. If you see a ball roll in front of your vehicle, assume it will be quickly followed by a child.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Doing so can help to optimize tire performance, fuel economy and help to reduce damage from potholes and other road hazards.
- Be sure your vehicle is ready for rain. Windshield wipers should be replaced at least once a year to help ensure the best visibility during inclement weather. When it is raining you should increase your following distance.
- Spring showers wet driving conditions. Be sure to increase your following distance and drive slower when road conditions are slippery. Road conditions can be especially dangerous when precipitation first begins since the rain mixes with oil and debris on the roadway, causing slippery road conditions.
- Avoid driving through large puddles. Spring showers can wreak havoc on road surfaces. The best advice is to stay clear of puddles as they can compromise your brakes, splash water on your windshield, causing you not to see. They could cause you to hydroplane and potentially lose control of your vehicle. In the event that you cannot avoid driving through a puddle and find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or jerk your steering wheel, instead, gently ease off of the gas pedal.
- Flooding – Flooding in the spring can occur anywhere and is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. An average automobile can be swept off the road in only 12 inches of moving water. In addition, roads covered by water are prone to collapse. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.
- Potholes. Potholes can occur on roadways after they have been treated for snow and ice. If you are able to go around a pothole, do so. However, if you cannot avoid a pothole, slow down as much as possible. Failure to do so could potentially damage your tires and cause your vehicle to become out of alignment.
Spring weather can be temperamental but by exercising a little extra caution, you and your loved ones will stay safe and sound. Have a great spring and always remember to drive safely!