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Safe Driving Tips for Spring

Safe Driving Tips for Spring Weather
Safe Driving Tips for Spring Weather
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Daylight saving time starting serves as a reminder that spring is upon us and after checking another year of winter driving from your list, hitting the road this spring should be a breeze, right? Not exactly. Spring presents its own challenges when it comes to driving, as it brings seasonal challenges that drivers need to keep in mind. With that, here are some safe driving tips:

1. Studies have shown that Daylight Saving Time results in drowsy drivers and brings an increase in motor vehicle crashes. Many people find that the adjustment after the time change can take upwards of a week. That is a long time to be feeling not quite right when commuting to and from work, so you may want to get to bed earlier at night or sleep a little later in the morning for the week. Be aware of other drowsy drivers on the road whose reaction time may be slower than normal. Give lots of room and use patience at intersections.

2. When it rains, drive in the middle lane. According to SmartMotorist, the middle lane is a safer option when it rains since water tends to pool in the outside lanes. Remember wet roads can be just as slick as icy ones. Tires will hydroplane and lose contact with the road. Also, rain causes oil dripped from passing vehicles to rise to the top of the water surface, increasing slickness.

3. Increase your following distance Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you when it rains. Three seconds is considered a safe distance in normal circumstances. During a storm, it is recommended that you increase this to eight seconds. Nationwide Auto Insurance suggests that the three second rule is a simple way to double-check that you are driving at a safe following distance. Choose a fixed point (like a road sign or a building) that is even with the car in front of you. If you reach that same fixed point before you can count to three, then you’re driving too close to the car in front of you and you need to fall back a bit.

4. Check the tires on your car. Worn treads will cause a loss of traction, an easy way to check tire treads is with the penny test. Simply put a penny into the groove of the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Also, regularly check your inflation. Proper tire inflation means that you'll have the best possible control of your vehicle and also get higher fuel efficiency!

5. Clean your windshield and check windshield wipers. Winter can be tough on wiper blades, wiping snow and ice away not to mention salt that may have hit your windshield can wear down the blades so you may need to replace them. Also give your windshield a good cleaning both inside and out to remove any build-up. Outside will help improve wiper performance and inside will remove film that increase moisture buildup.

6. Potholes. Spring is pothole season. Snow and ice dominated winter months and spring thaws can cause dangerous potholes. Avoid them if you can, but if not, don‘t brake while traveling over them. Slow down, release the brake before impact and go over the pothole. Braking while traveling over them causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with more force.

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Remember, if everyone strives to makes safe driving a top priority, it contributes to safer roadways.