As winter slowly fades into spring, you realize how fortunate the past season has been. Luckily, you managed to drive safely through the snow and ice and didn’t get into any accidents during the winter. With spring just around the corner, you may feel like you can relax a little as you drive your daily commute.
Even if winter is ending, you’re still at risk when you get behind the wheel. For example, springtime presents several risks that could cause you to get into an accident and become injured. Below, we discuss seven springtime-related safety hazards that all drivers should look out for to further reduce their risk for an accident and injury.
- Cracks and Potholes
In winter, piles of snow make the landscape look like a sparkling wonderland. And iced-over trees, ponds, lakes, and other areas seem like a scene from a movie. But during the spring, these wintertime features are the perfect catalyst for cracked roads, uneven sidewalks, and potholefilled pavement.
Pay attention to the road and look for cracks and potholes as you drive. If you drive over these problem areas, you could seriously damage your car. Avoid potholes and uneven pavement if possible. If you have to drive around them, do so slowly.
- Melting and Refreezing Ice and Snow
Melting snow and ice do more than just create potholes and cracks. For example, if you hit a patch of water on the road, you could hydroplane and potentially cause an accident. Or if melted ice refreezes overnight, it could present a much bigger hazard
As you prepare for each day, pay attention to the change in temperature. Watch out for flowing water on the roads, and drive carefully if you must pass over water. If you notice a drop in temperature, drive with caution so you don’t hit a patch of ice on the roadways.
Once the temperatures rise and stay constant, the chance of flooding increases significantly. Not only does melting ice and snow contribute to floods, but springtime rainstorms also create the risk for floods. Tune in to a local radio or news station to hear about any flood warnings so you can change your driving route to avoid the danger.
If you’re already on the road and see standing water, try to drive around it if you can. The water may be deeper than it appears, and your car could get stuck in the pool of water.
- Emerging Wildlife
During the winter, you don’t have to worry too much about animals on the roads. But as the temperatures rise and snow thaws, hibernating animals awaken and leave their homes to feed and explore.
This increase in animal activity puts drivers at a greater risk for car accidents-especially because certain animals tend to bolt onto the roads unexpectedly. Research common wildlife local to your area and learn basic details about their feeding and traveling habits. Keep this information in mind and diligently look out for these animals as you drive.
When you leave your home in the morning, do you notice a blanket of fog around your neighborhood? Springtime fog presents a large problem for drivers, specifically because it significantly reduces visibility.
Though you can’t control when the fog lifts, you can take a few steps to ensure your safety on the road. Make sure to turn your fog lights on when it’s foggy outside-even if there are only low levels of fog. Leave yourself plenty of travel time so you can get to your destination safely. Also, keep distractions in your car to a minimum so you can focus on the road ahead of you.
Warmer weather also attracts bicyclists to the roadways. These individuals will take advantage of the sunshine and warmth to trek across various areas. If you notice someone biking on the road, make sure to give them plenty of space.
Don’t speed past them in an attempt to avoid them. Driving too fast could cause you to get into an accident, or the passing force could accidentally knock a bicyclist off his or her bike.
Typically, winter weather doesn’t permit in-depth roadwork or construction. But during the spring, you’ll see construction crews repairing damaged roadways and expanding highways. If you have to drive through a construction zone, drive the speed limit set in that area.
You’ll also want to drive more carefully if you have to pass by any workers. Look out for debris on the road as well so you don’t get into an accident or damage your car.
Use the tips above to safeguard yourself and your loved ones against springtime-related hazards. Take care to pay attention to your surroundings so you can reduce your risk for injury. However, if someone else’s careless or reckless behavior causes an accident and you sustain an injury, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
For more information about how a lawyer can help you with your case, read through the rest of our blog.