How to Avoid the Dangers of Driving in the Spring
Spring is the season with the second highest rate of fatal car accidents, with 8,414 fatal car accidents recorded in the U.S. during the spring. Through our analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s report on fatal road accidents across the United States in 2019, we found the most dangerous times of the day, week, and month to be on the road in the spring. The analysis also includes the U.S. cities where the highest rates of fatal car accidents were recorded throughout the spring months; a majority of which were found to be in southern states. Florida, Tennessee, and Missouri each had two cities in the top 10 with the most fatal collisions in the spring.
While spring may not seem like a dangerous season for driving when compared to others, there are still some driving dangers to be aware of this time of year. With spring comes lots of rain showers and even hail storms, both of which can make roads more dangerous to drive on. Potholes are a common driving danger in the spring and driving over them can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. Another spring diving danger that many may not consider is that the warm weather brings a lot more people outside walking or riding bikes, as well as more motorcyclists on the road. One of our biggest tips for driving in the spring is to be more aware, of both driving conditions and pedestrians. Read on to find a full list of our top tips for safe driving during the spring months.
Spring Driving Dangers to Be Aware Of:
- Slick roads from rain showers can lead to less traction on the road and potentially cause the car to hydroplane. The Federal Highway Administration found that 46% of spring accidents were caused by slippery conditions as a result of rain.
- Potholes emerge in early spring as water seeps under the road surface and repeatedly freezes and thaws. Driving over a deep pothole can damage your tires or suspension.
- Hailstorms are common in the spring. Pieces of hail can not only damage a car’s exterior but also smash the windshield, which can lead to an accident.
- Motorcyclists are back on the roads now that the weather is warmer, and their smaller size can cause them to slip in and out of a driver’s blind spots.
- Cyclists and pedestrians are other dangers to be aware of as they begin to fill the streets and sidewalks when the weather gets warmer. Playing children can be unpredictable and may run into the road.
- Animals begin to emerge from hibernation during the spring and can cause accidents when they’re hit by a car or if a driver swerves to avoid them.
Spring Safe Driving Tips:
- Drive slowly when it rains to avoid sliding on the slick roads. Roads are the most slippery when it first begins to rain, as the water mixes with oil and grease on the road.
- Replace wiper blades in the spring, as they can be worn out from having to remove snow, ice, and debris from the windshield throughout the winter months.
- Slow down when approaching potholes so you don’t damage your vehicle, but avoid braking directly over the pothole, as that can cause more damage than just rolling over it. Be sure to approach large puddles in the road with caution, as they could be hiding a large pothole.
- Check the local weather reports for hailstorms before driving, and drive slowly over any icy hail fragments left over from a hailstorm.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of space as you share the road with them. Maintain a safe following distance behind them, and give them a wide berth when passing them. They can easily slip in and out of your blind spots, so take a second look before switching lanes.
- Watch for cyclists and pedestrians while driving during the warmer months, especially on roadways that include a bike lane. When parallel parking, keep an eye out for cyclists, as they can appear suddenly behind you.
- Be cautious of animals in the road. Slow down when approaching one and allow it to cross the road. Be extra-cautious in rural areas where animals are more likely to be found, especially at dawn and dusk, when they are most active.