Spring is finally here and along with the increased daylight hours and warmer weather come a few new challenges for drivers on the road. This blog is the perfect companion to our winter driving tips and looks specifically at the new season.
From decreased visibility, wet roads and more pedestrians, spring brings its own risk factors that require extra attention when driving for work purposes.
Our top tips:
Here is a look at some of the top spring driving safety tips to keep in mind:
1. Turn on Your Lights. Your car’s lights are for more than just night driving. Whether it’s a rainy day or a foggy morning, any time your visibility is hindered, turn on your lights. Take the time to make sure all your lights are in working order, from the headlights to taillights to indicator signals. If anything’s broken, get it fixed now to be prepared for the season ahead. If they are covered in mud or dirt clean them. Make sure you can be seen.
2. Check Your Wiper Blades. The last thing you want this season is to get stuck in a storm with wiper blades that do not adequately clear the water. Harsh rains can compromise visibility fast. Take the time now, even before the rainy season strikes, to make sure they’re working properly and will be ready to clear your windscreen in months to come.
3. Check Your Tyres. Winter can wreak havoc on a car’s tyres, which is exactly why now is the time to get them checked. Are the treads worn? If so, they can make you lose traction. Are they properly inflated? If the pressure is too high, you can lose traction and stopping distance; if it’s too low, your tyres could overheat and even lead to a serious accident. Full, properly inflated tyres can reduce risks from potholes and other hazards, providing extra protection on the road.
4. Change Your Cabin Air Filter. This one’s more about comfort than dangers on the road, but since spring is notorious for seasonal allergies, take preventative measures now to keep your air pollutant-free.
5. Slow Down. Whether you’re in a residential area or a city, if there is a chance pedestrians are present, slow down. While you can’t control whether or not someone runs into the road, you can be prepared to make fast decisions that could prevent serious accidents. One key is lowering your speed. Likewise, stay alert to pedestrians, cyclists, runners, and other people who may be on the road.
6. Stay in the Middle. If you’re caught on the roads when a heavy rainfall or storm hits, remember that wet roads can be just as dangerous as snowy or icy ones. In addition to turning on your lights and slowing down, try to stick to the middle lanes, where there will likely be less flooding.
7. In flooding. Avoid the deepest water – this is usually near the kerb. If you must drive through floods, drive slowly in first gear but keep engine revs high by dipping the clutch and don’t stop until you are through – Always test your brakes when out of the flood. If the water looks too deep or the road is closed, find an alternative route.
8. Avoid Potholes. The wear and tear of winter typically leaves potholes in the roads, so, come spring, there are large ones to navigate your way around. Whenever possible, try to go around and avoid deep potholes; they can throw your car out of alignment, leading to problems on the road as well as potentially the need for a new wheel and a new tyre.
9. Emergency Telephone. Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, so you can call for help or alert someone if you’re delayed – it could be a long walk to a phone, if you don’t have a mobile phone
10. Bright Sunlight. Leave a greater distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you when driving in bright sunlight. Bright light greatly reduces your visibility and reaction time. If bright sunlight begins to hurt your eyes or impedes your ability to drive in any way, find a safe place to exit the road. Wait ten to fifteen minutes for the sun to reposition before continuing to your destination. Use your visors and/or sunglasses to reduce negative effects to your vision.
Driving safely in spring
Spring brings more than showers, especially for drivers — so always stay alert when driving! Use the above tips to ensure you’re prepared for any driving challenges that come your way. If you need help with driving at work policies or toolbox talks on this topic area, contact us.