Spring has sprung

I know, you’re thinking “But the snow and ice has all gone away, doesn’t that mean we’re driving safely again?” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Rainy Days And Mondays

With the onset of those March showers and especially this year, the possibility of flooding means we’re in for slippery roads. From 2014 to 2015, the Federal Highway Administration reported that rain was directly related to 46% of weather related crashes and that wet pavement in general accounted for 73%. So, what exactly is it about rain and wet pavement that leads to so many accidents? When the road is wet and slippery it can seriously reduce the handling of your car and also increases the distance it takes to stop which is usually 4 times the normal distance is takes to come to a complete stop. Heavy rain fall or even large puddles combined with higher speeds can lead to hydroplaning. Here’s a link to a report from the DOT and the Federal Highway Admin. that gives very detailed info on how in-climate weather can affect your ride. https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm

Hail To The Chief

We don’t have to worry about hail as much as they do in the mid-west, but we do get it from time to time. One decent sized hail stone can shatter windshields, leave dents in your hood or roof, but even the small stuff that doesn’t leave a mark can make the roads icy all over again. Hey, I thought we got rid of this stuff?

Highway To… Hello, Pot Hole

If you had to drive west bound on the freeway towards Caldwell, you probably saw the holes that could swallow a Yugo. You may have even been one of the unlucky few that wound up sitting on the side of the freeway with a blown tire and bent rim wondering, well? How did I get here? The unusually cold temperatures combined with extra heavy amounts of moisture really took a toll on our roadways…AND our tires.

Animals On The Road

Living in farm land, we see more than our share of animals on the road but spring time only adds to it. Many animals are emerging from hibernation and others are entering their mating season. This means more animals then usual roaming the streets which adds to the danger we have been describing. Many of these animals, especially deer, are most active at dusk and dawn.


What To Do About It, Spring Safety Tips

  1. Check your lights. It’s hard to keep your car clean this time of year and even a little layer of mud and gunk on the headlights can diminish the power of your headlights to light the way for you. Make sure that you blinkers, the reverse lights and parking and brake lights are all working as they are intended.
  2. Replace wiper blades. Between the harsh winter conditions and the dirt and grit that your wipers have cleared away over the winter, it causes wear on the blades and you may find they can’t clear water away like they used to and this will decrease your visibility.
  3. Check the pressure in your tires. Speaking form firsthand experience, the harsh and frigid weather can cause your tires to deflate. If you haven’t checked them in while, do so now that the weather is warming up. For each pound of air pressure lost, this can translate into as much as 0.2% drop in gas mileage not to mention the wear and tear on the tires.
  4. Slow down. Driving carefully is much easier at a lower speed and if it hasn’t rained in a while, the oil and other fluids that have leaked onto the road when mixed with rainwater can make for a slippery experience if you’re not careful. Slow down and increase your stopping distance when it’s raining.
  5. Keep your eyes peeled for road hazards. You’ve already seen what the harsh winter can do to our freeway and surface roads, hopefully you won’t have to experience what it can do to your cars tires and rims. Again, slow down and back off the guy in front so you have more time and space to react if there is a hazard ahead.
  6. Keep and eye out for animals. Especially in the mornings and at dusk when you’re driving and animals are most active.

Here’s To Safe Spring Driving

Between the showers, migrating animals and really poor road conditions can create unpleasant complications on your way to wherever it you need to go. Use the above tips to make sure you get there in one piece and you’ll be much better prepared to face what Spring driving may throw at you.

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