Spring showers and flowers are often joined by a handful of seasonal
driving hazards. Find out what to avoid, and use our spring-driving tips
to get you and your car safely to summer.
With winter fading into the background and better weather all around,
you'd think the roads would finally be safe again. This isn't always
Rainy days and flooding
Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. According
to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit of 47 percent
of all weather-related crashes from 1995 to 2008, and wet pavement in
general accounted for 75 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.
Winter road wear and tear
Beware of hailstorms, particularly if you live in a hail-belt state
(Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri). Even small hailstones can
shatter windshields, and raining balls of ice are never good for the
roads (or anybody, really).
In many states, winter wreaks havoc on the roads. Snow plows, salt,
sand, and the aftermath of ice can all leave roads a bit battered. Once
snow melts away, expect to drive over new potholes.
More bicycles on the road
Animals are incredibly active during the spring. Some are emerging
from hibernation, and others are entering mating season. This could mean
that more animals are crossing streets and roaming around. Many
animals, especially deer, are most active at dawn or dusk.
Spring also brings cyclists out of
hibernation. Driving alongside cyclists can make traffic maneuvers, from
turning right to parallel parking, more dangerous.
Spring driving safety tips
- Check your lights. Since spring rain hinders
driving visibility, make sure all your lights work, including
headlights, taillights, backup lights, turn signals, parking lights, and
- Replace your wiper blades. Worn-out wiper blades
may not be up to the task of clearing water away from your windshield.
Check your wiper blades and replace them if necessary (usually once a
- Check your tire pressure. Harsh winter weather
can deflate your tires. Make sure you have enough air in them once
spring rolls around. (As a bonus, proper tire pressure can also help you
increase your mpg.)
- Slow down and drive carefully. The first few
rainy days of spring can produce exceptionally slippery roads due to oil
and other leaked fluids mixing with rainwater, so slow down and
increase your stopping distance when it's raining.
- Keep your eyes peeled for bad road conditions. Remember that harsh winter weather breeds potholes and other driving obstacles.
- Watch out for animals. This is especially important during the early morning and evening when animals are most active.
Safe spring driving
Seasonal showers, migrating animals, and poor road conditions can
create unpleasant complications out on the road. Use the above tips to
your advantage and you'll be that much more prepared for any seasonal
driving dangers that come your way.
Information taken from http://www.esurance.com/driving-tips/spring-driving