Springtime is one of the best times to get out, enjoy the weather, and watch winter disappear right before your eyes. Whether you’re eager to take a long road trip or just want getaway for a quick weekend, it’s important to make sure that you and your car are prepared for springtime driving. While winter driving can be particularly hazardous and stressful for millions of Americans, the spring season is not free from dangerous situations on the road. Before you hit the road this spring, make sure you’re ready for whatever heads your way:
Springtime Car Maintenance
The weather and road conditions during the winter months can really do a number on your vehicle. Just as you would before winter arrives, make sure that your car is in good working condition when warmer weather arrives. First off, give your car thorough cleaning. Wash and wax the exterior (which can help keep tree pollen off of your car) and clean all the dirt and grime of the winter months from your interior. Next, check the air in your tires, have them rotated if needed, and have your trusted mechanic do a complete check (looking at fluids, changing oil, checking brakes, etc.). Don’t forget to replace your windshield wipers and make sure the windshield cleaner reservoir is topped off, you never know when a spring rain will arrive, requiring a good pair of wipers.
Check the Weather
Spring is a much anticipated season, but it’s always filled with surprises. You can have a sunny and cloud-free sky in the morning and a rain/snow mix in the afternoon and often without warning. While snow is one of the biggest hassles for drivers, rain can be just as dangerous and stressful. Before you head out for the day, weekend or for your road trip, make sure you’ve taken a look at the forecast so you know what to expect. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to download a weather app to your phone so you can get up-to-date weather reports as your travel. Rain, fog, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes can suddenly occur during the springtime, it’s always good to stay informed, especially when traveling.
Share the Road
When the weather warms up, you can expect to see an increased amount motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on or around the roadways. Make sure you are on the lookout for harder to spot motorists (like motorcyclists or bicyclists). Remember, they have the right to share the road with other vehicles, but they are less likely to be seen.
Continue to Drive Responsibly
Drivers should be responsible year round, but after a long winter, many drivers become a little more relaxed. First, keep appropriate distance and drive reasonable speeds when it’s raining or if there is fog (it can be just as dangerous as winter weather). Secondly, keep your distractions at a minimal. You may be tempted to crank the tunes and snap a picture on your smartphone, but your focus is needed on the road at all times, particularly when motorists, pedestrians, and even animals are more likely to be on the road. Finally, warmer weather marks the season of the backyard party and BBQs. Don’t forget to driver responsibly and know when to hand over the keys if you’ve been drinking alcohol.