Spring means warmer weather, increased traffic, and a few more things to consider when you get behind the wheel.
Here are six tips for staying safe on the road this spring.
1. Ice May Still be a Problem
Now that it’s getting warmer, ice should no longer be an issue…right? Not necessarily. Warm days do not always mean warm nights. When driving, be alert for wet patches of pavement that could mean black ice.
2. Spring Brings Flowers…and Potholes
Asphalt and concrete surfaces are no matches for snowplows, sand, and ice-melting chemicals. When these surfaces break down, they leave potholes in their wake. While avoiding potholes is always the best choice, sometimes you have no choice but to hit them. Drive over them slowly to minimize damage to your car’s suspension or tires.
3. Animals Abound
Wild animals along with their babies are common in the spring, so be aware that animals may unexpectedly dart in front of you. Additionally, you’ll find pedestrians walking their pets and even pets who have escaped their yards. Stay on alert for animals, and always expect the unexpected. Be especially careful at dusk and when driving in a rural area or near wooded areas.
4. Watch for Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Spring fever mixes with cabin fever, and this time of year everyone wants out. Some will walk or jog, some will ride bikes, and others will finally get to dust off their motorcycles. Prepare to share the road again, and be on the lookout for pedestrians, motorbike riders, and bicyclists.
5. Rookie Drivers Take to the Streets
New drivers may have gotten learner’s permits before it got cold, but they have most likely waited until the weather was more predictable before taking to the road. That means they are like tulips…popping up everywhere in the spring. Be alert for new driver bumper stickers, and if you see a young driver driving erratically, be patient and avoid tailgating or cutting them off.
6. Windshield Wipers Damaged From Winter Driving
Rushed drivers frequently use their windshield wipers to remove ice from their windshields. This can lead to torn or damaged windshield wipers that will not function properly in the rain. Windshield wipers should be replaced every twelve months, so get in the habit of changing them every spring so you face the warmer rainy seasons ahead with a fresh pair of wipers.