Winter may be most known for its treacherous driving conditions, but spring also can be a difficult season for driving. From wind and rain to wildlife emerging from hibernation, spring driving can be challenging in its own right.
It is possible to enjoy the ride, however. By being aware of possible obstacles, increased traffic and tricky weather changes, you can take care when driving to ensure you and your passengers arrive safely and securely.
While you are driving, keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially on warm days. Residential, shopping and recreational areas will have more pedestrians, so it is especially important to be aware of those who are walking.
Two-wheeled vehicles also increase in popularity in the spring, so keep an eye out for motorcycles and bicycles and share the road. Bicyclists have the same rights as other vehicles on most roads. In particular, watch out for motorcycles and bicycles at intersections and in your blind spots when you are turning, passing or merging.
Spring is often the time when road work begins or resumes, so expect construction. Pothole repairs, highway maintenance and other road repairs may slow your drive and, quite possibly, tax your patience. Stay calm, slow down and be aware of the conditions around you. Be especially careful driving through work zones. Increase your following distance and avoid distractions.
If the weather should turn ugly, which has been known to happen in spring, know when you need to pull off the road and seek shelter. If you get caught in severe weather that makes driving hazardous, find a safe place to park until weather conditions improve.
Likewise, if the weather turns cold and the temperature dips below freezing, icy conditions may make roads slick and driving hazardous. If you do encounter icy roads, reduce your speed and increase your following distance.
If you are taking a vehicle or trailer out of winter storage, have your mechanic perform regular maintenance, including checking the fluid levels, tire condition, lights, suspension and brakes. Doing so now could help reduce the risk of a breakdown or an accident.
Deer, bears and other wild animals become more populous in the spring, as the warmer weather brings animals out of hibernation. Be alert for wildlife in the road, and slow down so you can stop safely if animals are on or near the roadway.
If your spring plans include a road trip, plan your driving route to avoid having to drive late at night. If you are traveling with another licensed driver, take turns behind the wheel to avoid road fatigue and get to your destination safely.
Spring is a season of renewal, and it also can be a season of fun driving. Stay alert and be prepared to avoid the challenges of spring driving and make the most of the season.
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