Dangers of Spring Driving

Spring is here! Warm weather and summer days are right around the corner! But springtime also brings seasonal driving challenges like wet pavement, motorcyclists, and animals that we haven’t seen all winter. To say safe on the roads during the spring, it is important to be aware of the challenges that come with Spring driving! To keep you safe this Spring, here are 8 common driving hazards to watch out for.

Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Forest, Virginia

Rain

“April showers bring May flowers!” It also brings wet pavement with slippery oil residue that can induce hydroplaning. According to the Federal Highway Administration (www.fhwa.dot.gov), nearly half of all weather-related accidents occur while it’s raining. To stay safer when driving in rain, make sure your tires have good tread, turn on your headlights, and reduce your speed.

Worn Wiper Blades

Removing wintertime ice and snow from your windshield can quickly wear out wiper blades, especially if they’re cheaper ones. It’s always smart to replace worn wiper blades in the spring with a fresh set. With all the rain that spring brings, you’ll want to make sure that your wipers are up to the challenge!

Driving too Fast

For some reason when the temperatures start to rise road speeds tend to also increase. Be extra careful to watch your speed, especially in school zones or other areas where pedestrians or bicyclists are present. When driving on wet pavement it’s always wise to slow down.

Bicyclists

Warmer weather attracts bicyclists, and that means sharing the road with them as a driver. When approaching or passing bicyclists who are using the shoulder, make sure to allow them plenty of room.

Motorcyclists

Warmer weather also brings out motorcyclists that drivers need to watch out for. Always give motorcyclists a lot of space when you pass, and stay back from motorcycles at least one car length per 10 mph.

Active Animals

Many animals in colder climates dramatically reduce their activity, or even hibernate, during winter. When spring arrives, those animals start moving around again. Animals crossing the road in front of your car can happen without warning, and many species, including deer, are more active at dusk and dawn when it’s harder to see.

Potholes

We live in Michigan; reality is we have a lot of potholes. Driving over deeper ones can cause serious damage to your tires, steering, and suspension. Standing water can also shield potholes from drivers. As a result, slow down when approaching large puddles on the road, and avoid potholes and chunks of broken pavement whenever possible.

Under-inflated Tires

Many drivers don’t check the air pressure in their tires like they should, especially during winter months when it’s cold. Hitting potholes can also cause your tires to lose air, and that’s why it’s important to check your tire pressure weekly. Under-inflated tires can cause vehicle handling problems and speed up tire tread wear.