Spring is Here!
It’s officially Spring – that means it’s time to tweak our driving habits. Here’s some tips to help you enjoy spring driving safely.
1. Don’t rush to take off your winter tires. They should be left on until daytime temperatures stay above 7 degrees Celsius.
2. We can (and will) still get some snowfall. The warm spring sun can melt ice and snow near the road and this melted water can freeze when the sun stops shining on it and the temperatures drop below zero. If you notice wet-looking roads and the temperatures have dropped below freezing, expect ice and slow down.
3. As the weather warms it will bring out motorcyclists and cyclists. Look out for these two-wheeled travelers enjoying our area and give them space to safely ride when passing.
4. Warmer weather brings more people, children and pets outside. Slow down and pay careful attention in residential areas and school zones. Kids focused on other things won’t be paying much attention to traffic.
5. There are wide fluctuations in temperatures and freeze-thaw cycles at this time of year, which can cause potholes to form. Stay well back of the vehicle in front so you can give yourself more time to see potholes.
Staying farther back from the vehicle in front of you will also reduce your chances of being hit by kicked-up rocks. Keeping your vision high is critical to safe driving.
6. Spring melting can cause localized flooding. If you encounter a flooded road, don’t try to cross the flooded section as the roadway under the water may be washed out. Instead, turn around and look for an alternate route.
7. Spring wreaks havoc on gravel shoulders. They can be much softer than usual from all the melt water. Coupled with winter erosion, gullies can form on the shoulders. Use extra care if you’re pulling off the road or if you drop a wheel off onto the shoulder. Smoothly steer your vehicle back onto the pavement.
8. During the winter, sand and salt are applied to the local highways to increase traction on snowy roads. Residual sand acts as tiny ball bearings under tires causing a noticeable reduction in grip. When exiting off of a major road onto one less travelled, you may be driving from a road with good grip to one with very little grip as you encounter these sand-covered roads. Look where you want to go, slow down and expect the road to be slippery from sand.
9. Many animals are on the move as they forage for food with their young. Every year, motorists die or are seriously injured hitting animals or trying to swerve to avoid animals (and the animals rarely survive, either). Slow down and be aware of your surroundings!
10. Driver distraction is a leading cause of traffic crashes. It is so important to remember to stay focused on the task of driving. If you must take a respond to something on your phone, pull over and then do it.
11. And finally, you can’t avoid it, if you can’t see it. Ensure your windshield washer fluid is topped up and your windshield is kept clean to ensure you can see everything (and everyone) around you.
Until next month, stay safe!