April 3rd, 2019|
As northeast Ohio’s cold weather begins to slowly fade into the spring and nature restarts its cycle of blooming with new life, drivers tired of traveling through ice and snow to get to work will undoubtedly greet the clear roads and blue skies soon to come with open arms. However, while moving from heavy coats to windbreakers is undoubtedly a relief for all but the toughest of Ohioans, the move from winter into the warmer months of the year can actually cause carelessness and lack of awareness in motorists that may result in unexpected collisions and even injuries. As a result, it is very important to consider the main risk factors of driving in the springtime; here are the five tips to consider when driving in the coming months.
Although the end of wintertime is often associated with better weather, it is easy to forget that the conclusion of the snowy season means the beginning of the rainy season. If we believe the old adage that claims “April showers lead to May flowers,” we have at least another month of less-than-ideal road conditions before the skies actually begin to clear. As such, even as we slowly move towards “shorts season,” many of the same hazards that plague winter drivers are still present in this time of the year. Even though the ice patches that cause so many accidents are thankfully gone, drivers hoping to avoid springtime accidents must now think about hydroplaning as they cruise down the street. Considering that water tends to accumulate towards the outside edges of the road, one of the easiest spring safety tips is to remain in the middle lanes if possible to avoid losing control of your vehicle (especially in places with relatively high speeds).
In addition to thinking about how the rain will affect a driver’s ability to be safe, it is also important to remember how truly unpleasant walking through a downpour can be; when the skies open up and start dumping buckets, pedestrians will do almost anything to get out of the rain and under shelter. As such, driving in the spring in places like residential streets and parking lots means watching closely for anyone on foot who might run out in front of a car in an effort to get inside.
On the other hand, the sunnier days of the season will actually present other risks entirely for driving in the Springtime; grateful for the warm weather and nature blooming around them, people will often be excited to leave their homes and walk around outside for the first time in months. As such, the pedestrians walking around in the Springtime often far outnumber those of the winter, meaning that crosswalks and side streets – especially in neighborhoods without sidewalks – should be traversed with extra caution from behind the wheel (as increased on-foot traffic is one of the main reasons why spring driving is dangerous). Being aware of your surroundings is an important part of driving safely throughout the year, so those who practice defensive driving as a habit will already be good to go in this regard.
While miscommunications between drivers and pedestrians can be stressful and even dangerous, the relationship between road bikers and motorists is constantly strained by their dual occupation of the street; not only are bikers often riding in the same lanes as drivers, but they move faster than those on foot and are also at risk of slipping or falling on the road themselves. As such, driving safely in the spring means being aware of any bicycles around on the road and giving them both the proper space and respect to travel safety. We all have different ways of enjoying the warm weather, and politeness to/mindfulness of others can go a long way towards keeping the streets of your neighborhood safe and accident-free.
In addition to keeping your eyes peeled for water pools and desperate shelter-seekers when road conditions start to become wet, a good driver will use their windshield wipers and headlights generously to ensure that they can see as well as possible in any weather situation thrown their way. In addition, one largely overlooked spring safety tip is to be wary of the fog that often appears out of nowhere in certain areas through which you may drive; foggy conditions decrease visibility just as much (and sometimes more) than heavy rain, so be sure to always use your lights when in doubt and be looking out for the cars in front of and behind you!
Because the ice and snow that have dominated the road all winter are now gone, many drivers either consciously or unconsciously increase their speed when traveling to and from work in the Springtime. Unfortunately, while good weather and sunshine make us all want to let our guard down, keeping a reasonable speed in both clear and tricky spring road conditions is virtually as important as slowing down during the winter. When the roads are rainy, cloudy, foggy, or just full of pedestrians, the responsibility of keeping the road safe falls on the drivers. Even if the other motorists around you are breaking the speed limit to get wherever they are going quicker, remember that your speed can be useful in setting the pace and that one person driving safely can encourage the rest of traffic to be more conscious as well.
After reading our tips for driving safely in the Springtime, we believe that you are prepared to both enjoy the coming good weather and continue to make Ohio’s roads a safer place for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike. Be sure to always remain aware of your surroundings and play it on the safe side (with speed, headlights, etc.), and you can become a part of the larger effort to reduce traffic collisions across the country.
With this in mind, accidents do happen; even the safest drivers still bear some degree of risk when they take the road. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an automobile-related accident, call Nurenberg Paris today for a free consultation regarding the compensation to which you may be entitled.