Winter isn’t the only season where driving can be dangerous. Believe it or not, spring can be just as much of a hazard, if not more so. Here are a few things you need to know – and a few things you need to do – in order to prepare yourself.
Spring is officially here! The weather’s getting warmer, the snow’s starting to melt, and car accidents are reaching one of their annual peaks. Yes, you read that right.
While winter has its fair share of road hazards, it’s not actually the most dangerous season of the month for a driver. See, most people know well enough to drive carefully when there’s snow and ice on the road. Accidents still happen, of course – but not with as much frequency as you might think.
I suspect there are a few reasons for this spike. First, it’s that drivers tend to be a bit more careless towards the end of winter. After all, there aren’t any obvious hazards on the road – no more snow, ice, or inclement weather.
Because it looks safer, people are more careless. And because they’re more careless, that means a higher risk of accidents. That isn’t the only problem, either.
There’s also the issue of Daylight Savings Time, which results in everyone losing at least a full hour of sleep in March. That might not seem like a whole lot until you consider that said hour accounts for up to a 24% increase in heart attacks.
Spring isn’t without its hazards, either. The increased presence of children and animals adds an element of unpredictability to driving, while cyclists and bikers give motorists, even more, to keep track of while driving. Finally, spring is also a time of huge weather fluctuations – freeze-thaw cycles can result in damage to roadways, localized flooding, and even black ice.
Aside from being conscientious and practicing defensive driving, there are a few things you can do to be ready for the dangers of spring driving:
Leave your winter tires on for at least a little while longer. I’d recommend waiting until at least mid to late April before switching them out.
Check your tire pressure, and make sure the treads on your spring/summer tires have decent grip.
Take your vehicle for a checkup. Winter can be a rough month, and it’s important that you make sure everything is still in working order. Pay particularly close attention to your battery, brakes, and windshield wipers.
As an addendum to the above, change your car’s oil and check your power steering, windshield washer fluid, transmission, and brake fluid.
It’s easy to assume spring driving is completely safe – after all, the season isn’t anywhere near as hazardous as winter, at first glance. Thing is, that’s exactly what makes spring risky. This year, don’t be part of the problem.
Drive carefully and keep your car in working order, and you should be just fine.
Ryan B. Bormaster is the managing attorney at Bormaster Law. The law firm practices in a number of areas but specializes in 18 Wheeler Accidents, Accidents with Commercial Vehicles such as Work Trucks and Catastrophic Injuries of all kinds.