Spring has sprung in many parts of the country! The longer days and warmer air make us want to be outside. And taking long drives in the countryside is one way to take advantage of the springtime beauty that surrounds us. Share our spring driving safety tips with your clients to help keep everyone safe this year.
Spring Driving Safety Tips for Success
Spring is long-anticipated, and many people are anxious to get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. But there are some important safety tips to keep in mind as you prepare yourself and your vehicle to come out from winter’s hibernation.
Be aware of pedestrians and bikers.
Spring is the perfect time to get your bike, rollerblades, one-wheels, scooters, and skateboards out. And when you’re driving, make sure to watch for pedestrians and people enjoying various wheeled toys. After a long winter spent indoors, kids — and adults — may be rusty when it comes to steering and balance. You can expect some mistakes from pedestrians and bicyclists so watch for them when you’re out and about.
Watch for flooded roads.
Springtime flooding affects driving conditions. Some roads may flood in parts at different times if run-off or high streams and rivers meet the roads. Watch for flooding and do not drive through a flooded road. It may seem safe at first, but conditions can be worse than expected. The National Weather Service reminds us “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” in their helpful public service campaign. Flooded roads are always a risk. Avoid them and warn your teenage drivers of the dangers of trying to cross a flooded road.
Tire pressure can fluctuate along with the thermometer.
Pay attention to your tire pressure. The changes in temperature in the springtime can reduce your tire pressure. You may need to stop for air during the changing spring conditions to keep your vehicle running safely. Having properly inflated tires is important for safety on the road. Underinflated tires can increase your likelihood of an accident, cause your vehicle to handle differently, and reduce your fuel mileage.
Snow and ice are still a hazard.
Depending on where in the country you live, snow and ice can continue causing hazardous conditions well into spring. The warm, sunny afternoons can fool us into thinking winter has passed, but cold nights can cause roads to freeze again. Snowstorms happen in March and April with some regularity. These late-season storms often catch drivers off guard.
Get prepared to drive in rain and hail.
Rainstorms are common in the springtime, and storms can happen quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. Be prepared by brushing up on your driving in the rain skills:
- lower your speed
- turn your headlights on
- allow more distance between you and other vehicles
- stay in the middle lane on multilane roads
- watch for flooded areas and know what to do if your vehicle hydroplanes
Daylight Savings Time means darker mornings.
The time change in the spring means it gets dark later in the evenings. But the trade-off is that the sun rises later in the morning. This means kids are going to school in the dark and adults are commuting to work before the sun rises. Commuting in the dark can be more hazardous so people need to pay even closer attention to the road. Additionally, the time change means the sun rises at a different time, which can affect commutes differently with sun glare.
Consider a spring check-up for your vehicle.
If you have snow tires on your vehicle, you will want to schedule a time to change out your tires. But even if you have all-weather tires, a springtime tune-up of your vehicle is still helpful. At the very least, wash off the salt and dirt that has accumulated over the long winter. Check fluids, windshield wipers, and your tires — they all have taken a beating with ice and snow. Doing some simple maintenance can extend the life of your vehicle and help you make sure it is safe for springtime driving.
Potholes and winter road damage are common.
If you live in a part of the US where it freezes and thaws throughout the winter, you are familiar with potholes. And some of these potholes become car-sized craters in the roads — a hazard that can damage your vehicle in lots of ways. Look out for potholes that have developed in the road after the spring thaw. It takes a while for most municipalities to catch up after a cold winter, so you can expect to be avoiding potholes until summer construction starts in some places.
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