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springtime driving

Springtime Driving

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.

confidence

Gaining Confidence After an Accident

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the fifth most common cause of death in the U.S. is accidents, as also stated on Boston auto accident attorneys’ website. Most accidents are very traumatic, even where there was no physical injury. The emotional scars can remain for a really long time particularly if you were the one behind the wheel. You might find yourself reluctant to get anywhere near the wheel of a car soon after. This is a normal reaction and may not bother you much at first. However, it is important that this feeling does not linger. The best way to overcome the fear of driving after an accident is to get your confidence back. Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that.

Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t feel keep feeling bad about what happened. Stop blaming yourself because you had an accident. According to Forbes, most people file a claim for collision at least once in about 17 years. So you are not alone in this. Whether it was as a result of your mistake or the other driver’s, there are lessons; learn from them and move on. When you move on, go slowly. Do not push yourself too hard as you have been through an experience that would most likely be traumatic for most people. Take things easy and be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself and if you need to take driving lessons in order to boost your confidence, go ahead and take them.

Get Back On

Don’t wait too long before getting back behind the wheel or you might get paralyzed by anxiety. Go slowly, but do make proactive efforts to try and get back to driving. You can start in your neighbourhood where there is less traffic, and drive around for a bit. As your confidence builds, you can then move on to the highway and your other normal routes. If you do not want to stress about being responsible for someone else, then drive alone until you gain more confidence. However, if having the company of someone you trust helps you to keep calm, be sure to invite them along for the ride. Understand that everyone is different, so go with the approach that works for you.

Seek Therapy

Driving anxiety is a real problem for many people and if you are suffering from such anxiety, do not dismiss it. If you have tried driving again and you just can’t seem to make that move from thinking about it to actually driving, then you should seek therapy. Psychotherapy is used for anxiety resulting from a traumatic experience, and it is likely that the accident was traumatic for you. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about the need to seek psychotherapy, in the end it is about taking control of your life. If you are able to face your fears and get behind that wheel at the end of it all, then that’s all that should matter.

Gaining your confidence back after having a motor accident is not easy, but with patience and determination it can be done. Just remember to be kind to yourself and take it at your own pace.