You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers! That’s right; it’s Springtime.
During Springtime we are ready to get outside and hit the road to some of our favorite vacation destinations. However, don’t forget about road safety! Let’s talk about some of the hazards that Springtime can bring and a few spring driving tips.
9 Spring Driving Tips & Hazards
1. Watch for Animals
During colder weather, animals typically become slower and less active. However, that means that when the weather warms up those animals come out of their hiding holes full of energy. Springtime also means that these furry friends have their offspring in tow.
Also, since animals don’t know the rules of the road and don’t know how to use and follow wildlife crossing signs, it’s up to you as a motorist to keep a watchful eye out.
Remember, dawn and dusk are two times that animals will be most active!
2. Mind the Allergy Medicine While Driving
Perhaps you aren’t one of the unlucky ones that are plagued by Springtime allergies. Good for you. For the rest of us, we need to be careful about those oh-so-helpful allergy medications and their side effects.
Beware if you’re taking an anti-histamine that induces drowsiness. Don’t put yourself behind the wheel of a car if there’s the risk that you’ll doze off or become foggy-headed.
In fact, for those of you that have allergies year round, this isn’t just a spring driving tip — it’s a safe driving tip.
3. Lookout for Bicycles and Pedestrians
Springtime’s the perfect season to dust the cobwebs off those running shoes and bikes! As a driver, you have to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. Since the weather conditions are perfect for long runs and rides, you’re going to be sharing your commute with more athletes.
Stay alert and provide plenty of room for those non-motorists!
4. Save a Life, Look Twice
Sunny and warm days means that you’ll see an increase in motorcyclists on the road!
Don’t forget that you should keep a safe distance from motorcycles and keep an extra-watchful eye when changing lanes. To review more tips on how to share the road with motorcyclists, take a look at these suggestions from the Texas Department of Transport.
5. Be Prepared for Afternoon Storms
The change in temperature means a change in pressure. That’s right; we’re talkin’ storms. Although not super common, keep in mind that hailstorms can catch you by surprise.
When it rains the roads become slicker. Reduce your speed and pay attention to the cars around you, so you have ample time to brake and react.
6. Be Aware of Puddles
More water on the road means puddles. We know the inner-kid in you wants to drive right through them, but puddles can hide hazards and dangers. Potholes and debris can be hiding under all that rainwater. Also, it’s a prime situation for hydroplaning.
Stay alert and slow down when driving around those tempting puddles!
7. Replace Your Windshield Wipers
More storms mean that you’ll be using those windshield wipers a lot more! Lower temperatures can cause the rubber on those wipers to break down. Bad wipers mean that you can’t see the road and other cars as well as you should.
Don’t wait until the next bout of rain to realize you need new windshield wipers. Replace them now. It’s super easy.
You can find your wipers’ blade length in your car’s manual. Once you have that, you need to find them at your local auto store. Each wiper has a clasp or button that releases the blade and allows you to slide off the old one. Next, replace the old blade with the new one. Voilà! You’re ready to hit the road!
8. Avoid Distractions
We all love to drive with the windows down and turn the music up on warm, sunny days.
Don’t be distracted! Wear those sunglasses and stay focused on the road in front of you. Watch your speed, especially around pedestrian crosswalks and school zones.
9. Check Your Tires
Checking your tire pressure isn’t a Springtime-only event. However, anytime the weather changes, it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure. Having the right amount of air in your tires will make it easier to react to any hazards on the road.
Check your car’s manual to make sure your tires have the right amount of air in them. Remember that overfilling them could cause a flat!
So, know that you have considered all of the road hazards that Springtime brings get out there and play! Make sure to see us or give us a call if you need any maintenance on your car.