The worst of winter weather driving may be behind us, but spring has its own unique set of hazards to watch out for, from rain to wildlife to construction work. Follow these tips to help you drive safely this spring.
- Watch for pedestrians: The warming weather means more people are out and about. Be watchful at intersections, especially near residential, shopping and recreational areas where more people are likely to travel on foot.
- Share the road: Two-wheeled vehicles, including motorcycles and bikes, make a comeback in the spring. They offer a fun, open-air way to get around, but their smaller size makes them more difficult for drivers to see. Be extra vigilant about checking your blind spot for cyclists when turning, merging or changing lanes.
- Be patient in work zones: Construction and road repair begin in earnest every spring, creating frustrating work zones. The key is to slow down, stay calm and avoid distractions. It’s also wise to leave your house a few minutes early if you know you’ll be driving through construction.
- Know how to handle severe weather: April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring hazardous driving conditions. If hail or torrential rain hits while you’re on the road, pull over and seek shelter under a covered area, if possible. Also, be prepared to resume winter driving techniques – such as slowing down and increasing your following distance – if freezing temperatures return temporarily.
- Stay alert for wildlife on the road: Bears, deer and other animals are more active in the spring, so be watchful, especially when driving through rural or mountainous areas.
- Dodge potholes: The freeze/thaw cycle may have caused large potholes to form in some places over the winter. Avoid driving through these whenever possible to prevent throwing your wheels out of alignment.
- Don’t drive through water: Go around large puddles to avoid impairing your brakes, splashing your windshield and hydroplaning. If the road appears flooded, never attempt to drive through it. According to The Weather Network, just six inches of water is enough to stall an engine. A foot of fast-moving water can carry a small car away, and two feet is enough to make SUVs and trucks float off.
- Keep your tires inflated: Full tires have better traction in wet conditions and withstand the impact of driving through potholes more effectively. Check the driver’s side door jamb to see the recommended pounds per square inch of air pressure your tires need.
Despite your best efforts to drive carefully, you may still get in an accident this spring. If you do, bring your car to B&L Automotive Repairs in Chicago. We have nearly 30 years of experience providing fast, reliable service to our customers. Our team has access to the latest diagnostic and repair technologies, making us confident that we can meet your needs no matter the make and model of your car. For more information, or to schedule collision repair, please contact us at (773) 463-1622.