Even in Spring There Can Be Dangerous Driving Conditions
In this post, we discuss dangerous driving conditions in the spring and what you need to do to drive safely.
Driving can be dangerous in the winter sometimes, we all know that and hopefully we’re driving accordingly during harsh conditions, or even staying home during a blizzard or ice storm.
Once spring rolls around, we can start to roll down the windows in our car and breathing some fresh air again.
We can even stop worrying about the weather and driving conditions so much. Or can we?
The fact is, driving conditions in the spring can still be dangerous sometimes.
Let’s review when you should be driving with extra caution in the spring:
Reasons Why Driving in Spring Can Be Dangerous
- Wildlife activity
- Seasonal allergies
- Potholes and damage to roads
- Bikes and pedestrians
- Underinflated tires
- Heavy Rain
- Worn wiper blades
When winter is over, many animals start becoming much more active. For many animals, the mating season begins in March, and animals on the prowl for a partner can behave unpredictably. There will be more raccoons, skunks, opossums out that there has been in months, as well as the deer becoming more active. Drive cautiously, especially at dusk.
A lot of people will suffer from allergies at some point during the summer months, experiencing runny noses, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats. Because of this, they will take allergy medications, many of which can cause drowsiness as a side effect. Please make sure you take any medications according to the directions and if drowsiness is a side effect, don’t take it if you’re going to be driving.
Potholes and damage to roads
If you live in Chicagoland, you know that winter weather can cause a lot of damage to the roadways. Cold weather, ice, severe changes in temperature, melting and freezing cause cracks to turn into potholes, sometimes very quickly. Driving over a big pothole can sometimes cause serious damage to tires, steering, and suspension. Take care to avoid them when you can.
Bikes and pedestrians
Some people ride their bikes year round but many others put them away for the winter. When the weather gets nicer you will see a lot more bikes on the road again, as well as more pedestrians out and about. People on foot or bike can behave erratically sometimes and so you should be alert for them and give them plenty of space and right of way.
The extreme temperatures of winter can affect tire pressure, so every driver should check their tire pressure in the spring, or even before then. Underinflated tires can cause vehicle handling problems and speed up tire tread wear.
Warmer weather brings vehicles back out onto the roads that may have been hiding all winter: motorcycles. Please watch for motorcycles when you are on the road, don’t follow them too closely and give them plenty of room when you pass them.
Spring is the most common time of the year for hailstorms. Large hail has been known to crack windshields. A hailstorm can create some tense driving situation and really hurt your visibility. Drive carefully in this weather and pull over if you need to.
When the warm weather comes, people just seem to drive faster. People can also drive less cautiously. Be careful not to drive too fast for conditions or to not have enough time to react to bikes and pedestrians. Rain can also create slippery roadways and a big puddle on the road can be quite dangerous when hit at high speed
Heavy rainfall is a part of spring in this region. This means wet pavement and sometimes large puddles of water. Pavement that has oil residue can be dangerous and cause your car to hydroplane. According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost half of all weather-related accidents occur while it’s raining. Rain can be more dangerous than we realize. Make sure your tires have good tread, drive with headlights on, and lower your speed.
Worn wiper blades
Winter ice and snow can damage your wiper blades over the course of a harsh winter. Wiper blades usually should be changed every year, and spring is a good time to do it. New blades can make a big difference when you find yourself driving through a spring downpour.
Please drive safe out there, no matter what season it is!
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