As the warmer weather slowly creeps up on the horizon, it may be deceiving to believe that road conditions no longer come with its dangers. In fact, there are still numerous factors to keep in mind this spring season. As this period's flora and fauna become more active, they are also often accompanied by driving hazards. Find out what to avoid and use these tips to get you and your car into the hot summer season.
Animals are More Active
The local wildlife becomes incredibly active during springtime. There are some emerging from hibernation, while others enter mating season. This may mean that more animals are crossing streets and roaming around; some animals, such as deer, are active at dawn or dusk. Be sure that you are on the lookout for them on or near city streets.
Rainy Conditions and Flooding
The frequent rainy conditions during springtime bring slippery road conditions and flooding. These drastically impact a driver's visibility. Be sure to keep more distance than normal between other vehicles when it's raining. Do not pass big trucks or buses in order to avoid getting stuck in their spray. During heavy rain, follow the tracks of the vehicle in front, since it will have pushed some of the water away. Also, remember that roads get covered in lubricants when dry, and when it rains, these oils resurface through the water, making the conditions extra slick.
Winter's Wear and Tear on the Road
Harsh winters can bring about chaos on the roads; snow plows scraping on pavement, salt, sand and the aftereffects of ice can leave roads battered. Once snow and ice clear away, expect the roads to have new potholes.
The warmer weather that comes with spring also brings more cyclists on the road. Driving alongside them can make maneuvering through traffic more dangerous. Before turning, stopping or proceeding, check your rear-view mirrors to spot their location. When passing on the road, give them plenty of room.
- Make a habit of checking your lights – heavy rain may hamper good visibility, ensure all of your vehicle's main lights work.
- Replace/check your wiper blades – worn out blades may be inefficient in cleaning water away from your windshield.
- Tire pressure – the winter weather can deflate a vehicle's tires, be sure to check your vehicle has enough air in them once spring rolls around. In doing so, having the proper tire pressure can also increase fuel economy.
While the spring season is seldomly associated with risky driving, there are still many hazards we need to be aware of. From sudden changes in weather to wet and slippery roads and increased pedestrian traffic, there are several distractions and challenges that can result in accidents and damages.