That’s right, spring is officially here. Flowers are blooming, the grass is getting greener, and the leaves are returning to the trees after the long, dreary winter. But springtime is a tricky season in Ohio, with one day being bright and sunny and the next bringing heavy thunderstorms – or even a surprise snowstorm!
Additionally, it’s common to encounter more wildlife on the roads this time of year, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, debris washed into the road and those treacherous potholes we all know and despise. April showers also bring the potential hazards of hydroplaning. That’s why it’s vital that drivers understand how to stay safe on the road in any type of conditions the spring season may bring.
Safe Driving Tips for the Springtime
Many of us let our guards down when driving in spring, since it seems much less treacherous than winter conditions. But as you get ready to roll down your car windows to welcome in that fresh air, there are a few driving tips to keep in mind this time of year.
Perform some much-needed post-winter maintenance. Winter can be harsh on your car, and the transition to the milder weather of spring should be used as a reminder to set aside time to do some important maintenance tasks. This includes checking the tire pressure and treads, testing the headlights and turn signals, replacing windshield wiper blades, checking your defrosters and so on.
Beware of poor visibility due to glare, fog and rain. After a gloomy, dark winter, it’s easy to forget what a sunny day looks like. Driving into the morning sunrise or sunset can be no easy feat with the sun’s rays blazing through your windshield, so make sure to always have a pair of sunglasses on hand in the car with you and use the sun visor as needed. Rain and fog also greatly reduce your visibility this time of year. Add sun glare to a wet, rainy road and your drive becomes especially dangerous. When visibility is poor, remember the basics – slow your speed and always leave at least 4 seconds between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
Keep an eye on who’s sharing the road with you. Warmer weather tends to mean more action on the roads. People will be out walking, biking, and motorcycling. Plus, animals are emerging from hibernation, and they have a tendency to dart out when you least expect them to. Always stay on high alert and be aware of other people, vehicles and your overall surroundings.
Play it safe during spring showers. Rainy conditions can easily lead to flooding or slippery roads, which can make handling your vehicle difficult. Puddles and potholes can be much larger than they appear. Hydroplaning is a major concern when driving through large puddles, plus wet roads can increase the distance it may take your car to come to a full stop. Make sure to slow down and maintain a safe following distance during rain showers.
Watch out for construction zones. That’s right, construction season is here. Expect to see an increase in orange barrels this spring, which means you’ll also want to decrease your speed and watch for workers busy fixing all those potholes from the winter. Always check your blind spots, follow the changing traffic patterns and switch lanes safely, being aware that construction workers and equipment may suddenly enter the road.
Driver Education Programs from DriveTeam
Learn how to become a safe, confident driver with DriveTeam. We offer comprehensive teen driving classes and corporate driving training to teach safe driving to all ages. Plus, check out our new Next Level Driver Training Program to become a truly advanced driver. Contact us for more information.