The Dangers of Spring Driving
With the weather beginning to shift from cold and blistery to warm and comfortable, many people tend let their guard down when it comes to vehicle safety. However, along with the season change comes a brand new set of road safety concerns to worry about. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the dangers of springtime driving so that you can be prepared when out on the road.
Be on the Lookout for Potholes
For many states, salting roads is an absolute necessity during the winter months. However, salt, in combination with harsh winter weather, can result in some nasty surprises in the roadway come springtime.
“Extreme winter weather takes a toll on our roadways, creating large potholes.” Says Scott Stueber of thesilverlining.com. “Heavy rain can fill them with water making them difficult to see. These monsters can damage your car leading to expensive repairs. Damages can include:
- Punctured tires
- Bent rims
- Suspension damage
- Poor alignment
- Exhaust system damage
Keep a safe following distance in case the driver in front of you reacts. Never swerve to avoid a pothole. This can put you and your family in a more dangerous situation. Gently brake before it if you can.”
Rainy Days and Flooding
For many areas of the country, the first day of spring denotes the start of rainy season. While many people think of the rains as spring as less dangerous than the snow of winter, that may not be the case.
The insurance company Esurance warns: “Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit of 46 percent of all weather-related crashes from 2005 to 2014, and wet pavement in general accounted for 73 percent.
What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? For one, slippery roads reduce your car’s handling and increase the distance it takes to stop (up to 4 times normal stopping distance). Big puddles can also cut down on tire traction and could lead to hydroplaning.”
To help mitigate the danger, make sure to increase your following distance when driving in wet conditions in order to allow you to safely brake. Also, decreasing your speed will help avoid hydroplaning.
Beware of Sun Glare
The return of spring also means a return to daylight savings time, resulting in longer days and shorter nights. However, it can also mean an increase in sun glare, especially during commuting times. Sun glare is especially dangerous because it can result in temporary blindness for drivers on the road. AAA offers the following suggestions to help deal with the problem:
- Invest in polarized sunglasses
- Utilize your sun visor
- Leave more following room
- Drive with your headlights on
- Keep your windshield clean
- If having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you
While we’re all celebrating the return of warm and sunny weather, it’s important to stay vigilant. Following these tips will help ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe when out on the road this spring.