We’ve officially turned the corner from winter to spring. For many of us, that means looking forward to longer days, more sunshine and warmer temperatures. But despite the change in weather and increased daylight hours, the transition to spring often brings additional driving hazards to consider. Whether planning a road trip for spring break or simply driving around town, the following tips can help you enjoy the spring days ahead while ensuring you arrive at your destination safely.
Watch for ice, leftover sand and salt.
Keep in mind spring does not necessarily mean that all the ice from winter is gone. Drive as if the roads are icy - maintain a safe distance, approach intersections cautiously and drive slowly when the roads appear wet. When the snow melts, sand and salt often remain on the roads. This can decrease traction, making it even more important to allow yourself extra braking time.
Plan for spring showers.
April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also increase the potential for slippery driving conditions. Turn on your headlights, drive slowly and give other vehicles enough space to make driving a safer experience for everyone on the road.
Driving in a hailstorm is dangerous because it results in a combination of rain, wet roads and limited visibility due to ice hitting your windshield. It’s best to stay off the road if you can avoid it. Already driving? Pull over or find shelter to wait out the hail.
Avoid flooded roads.
Frozen ground, melting snow and heavy rains are the perfect combination for flooding. If you’re approaching a flooded road, turn around and find a safe route. It’s difficult to determine if you’re driving into shallow or deep water, and standing water may be hazardous because there can be strong undercurrents.
Prepare for potholes.
Combine salt, sand and heavy snowplows with changing cold and warm weather, and you have the perfect conditions for potholes. Avoiding potholes isn’t always an option. The safest approach is to slow down and release your brakes right before you drive over the pothole. This reduces the speed of impact and gives your suspension a chance to decrease the impact.
Stay off shoulders.
Winter erosion followed by spring rains and flooding can soften gravel shoulders and wash away the ground underneath. Avoid driving and parking on gravel shoulders.
Look for pedestrians and bikers.
Warmer weather means increased motorcycle, bicycle and foot traffic on roads and shoulders. Keep your eyes open for others and be particularly cautious in areas with pedestrians and children.
Watch for animals.
Many animals are coming out of hibernation and getting accustomed to the change of season. Resist the urge to swerve if you see an animal on or near the road. It’s safest to brake in a straight line.
Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to share additional tips to protect yourself and your vehicle against road hazards. If you’re looking for more information or have questions on your auto insurance coverage, contact an advisor today.