Although winter is usually known for its dangerous driving conditions, spring also comes with several seasonal driving hazards to be aware of.
What makes spring driving so dangerous?
Rainy days and flooding
Spring rain creates slippery road conditions and potential flooding. This can reduce your car’s handling ability and lengthen the distance it takes to stop by up to 4 times longer. Large puddles can also reduce tire which can lead to hydroplaning.
Winter road wear and tear
Very commonly, winter does some serious damage to roads. From snow plows to salt and sand, to ice expanding holes and cracks, all of this can really tear up roads. It is almost expected that once the snow melts away, you will be driving over some new potholes.
Animals are really active during the spring, either returning from hibernation or entering the mating season. This could lead to more animals crossing streets and just generally roaming around. Many animals, especially deer, are the most active around sunrise or sunset.
More bikes on the road
Spring also brings cyclists out of hibernation. Driving alongside cyclists can make traffic maneuvers, from turning right to parallel parking, more dangerous.
How to deal with spring driving hazards:
- Check your lights: Rain hinders driving visibility, so make sure all your lights work. This includes headlights, taillights, backup lights, turn signals, parking lights, and brake lights.
- Replace your wiper blades: Old, beat up wiper blades may not be efficient in clearing water from your windshield. Inspect your wiper blades and replace them if necessary.
- Check your tire pressure: Winter weather can deflate your tires. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can reduce the damage caused by potholes and other road hazards. Additionally, proper tire pressure can also help you increase your mpg!
- Slow down and drive carefully: The first few showers of spring can create unusually slippery roads as a result of oil and other leaked fluids mixing with rainwater. Slow down, and increase your following distance even when mist begins to fall.
- Stay alert for bad road conditions: Expect that the winter weather has created many new potholes and other driving obstacles.
- Avoid driving through large puddles: Driving through water can impair your brakes, cloud your vision, or cause you to hydroplane.
- Watch out for animals: This is especially important during the early morning and evening when animals are most active.
- If possible, go around potholes: Deep potholes can severely damage tires or wheels, forcing you to buy new ones. You may be able to file a claim (laws differ from city to city), but you’ll likely have to prove negligence on the part of the city.
- Keep in mind the impact of medications on driving: For many, springtime comes with seasonal allergies. Some allergy drugs can have side effects that diminish your driving ability.
- Look out for pedestrians: Many areas will have more pedestrians, so it is important to be aware of those who are walking, especially on warm days.
- Be aware of bikes and motorcycles: Keep in mind that bicyclists have the same rights as other vehicles on most roads. Pay extra attention to bikes and motorcycles at intersections and in your blind spots when you are turning, passing or merging.
If you use the above tips, you’ll be much more prepared for seasonal driving dangers that may come your way.
Here at Lantz Family Insurance Agency, we are committed to providing our clients with quality insurance and superior customer service – including when disaster strikes. Should the need arise to file a claim, we’re ready to assist you in any way we can. Call us for a FREE, No Obligation Quote at 774-992-0789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter C. Lantz (Pete) has been a Licensed Insurance Agent in Massachusetts for more than 10 years. He has worked for Arbor Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and USA Wealth Group, Inc. as an Insurance Broker and Financial Advisor. Pete has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Pete has his Real Estate Brokers’ License, as well as Life and Health Insurance Licenses.