Potholes and puddles and glare, oh my! As the seasons change, so do road conditions. While winter snow and ice generally prevail as far as challenging road conditions go, spring also presents a variety of challenges that can affect your travel.
Stay safe on the road this spring by following these 8 driving tips from AARP Driver Safety:
- Spring showers bring May flowers—and wet driving conditions. Slow down on slick roads, and increase your following distance even when mist begins to fall. Keep in mind that even a small amount of water can mix with oil and road dust to create slippery conditions.
- Be sure your vehicle is ready for rain by replacing your windshield wipers at least once a year. Don’t drive faster than your wipers can clear water from the windshield.
- Avoid driving through large puddles, which can impair your brakes, cloud your vision, or cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. If you can’t avoid a puddle and find your vehicle hydroplaning, gently ease your foot off of the accelerator—do not brake.
- Share the road. Warm weather brings motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians out on the roads. Because more and more pedestrians have developed habits of texting, talking on cellphones, and listening to music, they can be unaware of the traffic around them. Be extra cautious around intersections and in residential communities.
- Understand the impact of medications on driving. New spring growth often causes seasonal allergies, so keep in mind that over-the-counter allergy drugs can have side effects or interact with other medications to cause drowsiness or diminish your driving ability.
- If possible, go around potholes. Potholes—an after-effect of winter weather—can hurt your tires or throw your car’s front end out of alignment. If you can’t avoid a pothole, try to slow down, as the damage can be costly to fix.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Doing so can reduce damage from potholes, uneven pavement, and other road hazards.
- Change your car’s cabin air filter if you suffer from seasonal allergies. The cabin air filter, which removes pollutants before they enter your vehicle, can be essential in minimizing the amount of dust or pollen that enters your vehicle, thus relieving your allergies during travel.
Spring weather can be temperamental, so be prepared for quick changes by taking the proper precautions. To learn more about protecting yourself, your family, and your vehicle all year round, consider registering for a driver-improvement course, such as the classroom or online courses offered by AARP Driver Safety.