Spring Driving Safety Tips
Experienced drivers know that driving in the spring is not less hazardous than in winter, especially, if the warmer weather has just arrived. And the human factor is no less important than the weather or vehicle conditions.
Below you will find some tips for driving in the off-season:
- Do not rush to change winter tyres to summer tyres: winter tyres are better on warm asphalt than summer tyres on icy or cold roads.
- Remember, a spring road is not the same as a summer road: if it is sunny and warm during the day, it does not mean that it will be not frosty at night or in the morning.
- If there is no ice or snow on the asphalt, it does not necessarily mean that the road conditions are perfect: spring road is full of surprises.
- Do not rush to immediately switch to summer driving style, even an experienced driver needs time to refresh his skills when conditions change.
- Remember that in the spring, the amount of traffic on the road increases significantly, and you can never be 100% sure about other people’s driving skills.
In spring, many drivers who preferred not to drive in winter appear on the roads, including those who ride a motorcycle, motor scooter or bicycle and who in the absence of special lanes on the roadway not always remember how to follow traffic rules after a long break for winter.
They not only make traffic busier but also can cause emergency situations, forgetting about signal lights, making unexpected lane changes and overtaking, exceeding speed limits or driving unreasonably slow, stopping a car in the designated areas. Therefore, even an experienced driver should be especially attentive to his lane neighbours.
Not to mention such problem as children on the road. In the spring, more children play outdoors. Accessibility of various types of personal electric vehicles much increases the possibility of road accidents.
The roadway itself can be full of surprises. Spring weather is changeable, and at +10 °C or +12 °C daytime temperatures, nights can be quite frosty causing shaded areas or overpasses (bridges) to get covered with ice early in the morning. Even if the area covered with ice is small, only a few meters long, this may be enough for the driver to lose control and cause an accident. It is especially relevant for those who drive at night or in the early morning.
This is another reason not to rush to change winter tyres for summer ones. Winter tyres have better grip characteristics on warm asphalt than summer tyres on cold or frozen. As for driving in the rain, which is quite typical for the off-season, both summer and winter tyres are quite efficient. Aquaplaning resistance is pretty much on the same level if the tread is not badly worn. So, even if the spring turned out to be damp, the wet road should not push you to urgently switch to summer tyres.
When the snow melts, deep potholes can appear where you’d least expect them – on highways, including recently built ones. A tyre damaged at high speed on a rough pothole can cause an accident. Therefore, one should drive slowly to have time to detour or slow down in front of a dangerous pit.
There are several tips for driving techniques to protect tyres from damage on broken spring roads, and yourself from the danger of getting into an accident:
- If you are not sure that you can spot a pothole at the right time to avoid hitting it, maintain a speed you consider to be safe, and not the speed of the stream of cars.
- Discipline yourself to maintain proper driving posture and hold the wheel correctly. This allows you to steer flawlessly to avoid the spotted hindrances at the right time.
- If you find yourself in a situation when you need to avoid a collision with a suddenly appeared vehicle, try not to expose yourself to being hit by another vehicle. Remember that braking is not the worst option to avoid accidents, if you have good tyres, especially if there is no time to assess the situation for the right manoeuvre.
- Do not rush to switch to summer driving style when it’s getting warmer. Wait until the sun properly warms up the roads, and the utility service workers remove sand and other residues of mixtures used in winter for preventing slipping on ice.