Each season brings its own driving risks, and spring driving safety is no exception.
In much of the United States, winter is the biggest culprit when it comes to avoidable car collisions and other accidents. That’s no surprise, given that snow and hail can make even the most familiar roads much more treacherous. Harsh winters often cause a huge spike in auto insurance claims.
Spring sees fewer accidents overall, but its road perils can be just as dangerous. After a long winter of staying vigilant on every car trip, drivers might lower their guard. It only takes a few seconds of inattention to get into a situation that can lead to an accident – and that’s especially true if it happens to be raining at the time.
This spring and any season, defensive driving is the key to making things safer for everyone.
Try out these Spring Driving Safety Tips for an easier experience on the road:
1. Look Out for Potholes
As the weather warms up, accumulated road damage during the winter can lead to new potholes. Potholes may form as concrete expands and contracts or may be caused by plows. Potholes will often go undetected until the thaw. If you see one coming, gently press the brakes to reduce your speed and minimize damage.
2. Watch Out for Sand, Salt, and Ice Early in the Season
Even once spring officially arrives, it may still take a while for the thaw to come. Early in the season, there may still be low-lying icy patches in areas that are not exposed to much sun. Likewise, it takes a while for the sand and salt used in ice control to wash off the road, so be extra cautious in those early days.
3. Check Your Tires’ Air Pressure
When spring arrives, it’s about time to check the air pressure on your tires. If your tires are starting to show their age, consider investing in new ones. On average, new tires offer you an improved stopping distance of almost 90 feet, perfect for when you need to drive in spring rains.
4. Schedule Full Vehicle Maintenance
No list of spring safety tips would be complete without mentioning the importance of maintenance. After all, spring driving safety depends on your vehicle. No matter what you drive, a qualified mechanic should check it out once a year. The only good time to discover a brake problem is safely in the auto shop!
5. Protect Yourself from Sun Glare
Just about everyone has a sun visor in their car, truck, or SUV. Still, this isn’t always enough to make sure you completely control the effects of glare. When the sun is low on the horizon, it becomes a factor in thousands of accidents. Be sure you have at least two pairs of sunglasses, leaving one in your vehicle at all times.
6. Be Alert to Bicyclists and Motorcyclists
Warm spring weather means that it’s prime motorcycle season. Likewise, bicyclists will be out and about at all hours of the day, including the morning commute. Share the road effectively by always checking your blind spots before you turn. Whenever possible, maintain a four-second following distance from motorcycles.
7. Slow Down in Residential Areas
Scrupulously follow reduced speed warnings for residential neighborhoods – kids are sure to be out playing. As you pass a home where kids are out, be wary: They may be in their own yard or on the sidewalk, but they can stray into the road in a matter of seconds. Always give sufficient time for groups of kids to pass you by.
8. Know Your Local Wildlife
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Hopefully, you won’t be sharing the road with any of the above. Still, most of your local fauna will reach peak activity in spring. Depending on where you live, that can mean anything from deer to armadillos, squirrels, and turkeys. A collision with even a smaller animal can leave a major dent!
9. Prepare for Weather
April showers bring May flowers, as the old saying goes. The rainy season produces a variety of hazards for even the most conscientious drivers. Beware of slick roads and low visibility conditions. Know your local forecast and special dangers such as wind gusts and hailstorms, planning trips to avoid these when you can.
10. Never Take a Chance on Flooded Roads
If you are approaching a flooded road, turn around and find an alternate route before it is too late. Flooding can inundate the undercarriage of your vehicle and cause serious, immediate damage. Even large puddles can pose hazards, especially hydroplaning. Don’t assume you can tell how deep a puddle is.
11. Stick to the Middle Lane Whenever It Rains
A wet road should be treated with due caution, just as if you were driving over ice in winter. Wet conditions can be even worse, since oil leaks from passing vehicles create a viscous hazard. Water often pools in the outside lanes both during and after rain, so stick to the middle lane until things dry out.
12. Make Sure Your Windshield Is Ready for Spring
Your windshield is one of your best allies for spring driving safety tips. Give it plenty of attention early in the season. Clean your windshield thoroughly, check it for any tiny cracks that need to be repaired, replace your windshield wiper blades, and top up your wiper fluid.
13. Increase Your Following Distance When It Rains
While lots of drivers adhere to two or three seconds of following distance when the weather is good, rain calls for more care. It’s a wise idea to increase your following distance to a full eight seconds. You can use a fixed point such as a road sign and count in your head to determine whether you’ve got eight seconds of distance.
14. Route Around Construction Zones
New construction is another surefire sign that spring has arrived. Construction and painting activities need to be scheduled in mild weather whenever possible. Since the traffic patterns around a construction site could change daily, it’s crucial to stay aware. The best solution is to go around the area if you can.
The Biggest of Spring Safety Tips for Drivers? Don’t Drive Without Insurance!
Whether spring, summer, fall, or winter, you’re in for trouble if you get into an accident without insurance.
These spring driving safety tips will make it easier to avoid hazards, but you can never predict how other drivers will act. If you’re in an accident and don’t have enough insurance, you could find yourself taken to court as the other driver seeks payment for medical bills or vehicle damage.
Good car insurance makes life easier. And you can find the best insurance right here at Cheap Insurance.
The team at Cheap Insurance has made it easy to compare car insurance policies from all over your state no matter where you are. It used to take days to compare car insurance by going from one insurer to the next, and prices would often change in the interim. Now, you can simplify the job by comparing car insurance online.
We welcome you to get started comparing car insurance now or get in touch for more information.
Also, Read: 53 Interesting Car Insurance Facts