spring driving safetyWith the weather warming up and flowers getting ready to bloom, it is important to keep a few helpful tips in mind for driving safely. Spring may not typically be the time of year that you associate with hazardous driving, but there are several factors to keep in mind:

  •  Spring is notorious for heavy rain and flooding, creating slick roadways. This time of year also still gets very cold at nighttime, creating icy roads at night and the early morning. According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit of 47 percent of all weather-related crashes from 1995 to 2008, and wet pavement in general accounted for 75 percent. Wet, slippery roads increases the distance it takes to stop your car by up to four times the normal stopping distance. Large puddles pose a great risk for hydroplaning.
  • Hail. Massachusetts doesn’t tend to see hail all that often, but it does happen occasionally. If it begins to hail while driving, pull over and wait it out.
  • The roads can be in treacherous condition after the winter, especially here in New England. Salt, sand, and snowplows all contribute to battered roadways that can be ridden with potholes.
  • Animal activity. Wild animals become extremely active in the spring; some are coming out of hibernation while others are getting ready for mating season. Be mindful of animals crossing the road, especially in the early morning or at dusk when they tend to be the most active.
  • Bikes on the road. While the winter melts away, the bicyclists take to the pavement. Share the road.
  • Be sure all of the lights on your car work correctly; spring weather can hinder your driving visibility.
  • Replace your wiper blades. After a harsh New England winter they are more than likely worn-out.
  • Check your tire pressure. After a cold winter tires become deflated. Proper tire pressure can also increase your miles per gallon.

Remember to drive slowly in wet weather, keep your eyes peeled for harsh road conditions and animals, and keep these spring driving safety tips in mind to ensure your safety and the safety of others.