The cold winter is behind us, so we can finally be more relaxed when on the road. Or can we? The snow is melting, temperature fluctuations are much bigger and the structure of “wheelers” on the roads is changing. You need to keep in mind certain seasonal challenges. Here are some tips:
1) Tires. Do not take off your winter tires just yet, if the temperature stays below 7 °C. On the other hand, if you are changing your tires, make sure that they are not worn out, because in that case the chances of sliding are increased. Worn out tire treads cause loss of traction. Also, you need to have your tires properly inflated in order to avoid various road hazardssuch as uneven roads and pavements, potholes, etc.
2) Icy vs wet roads. The snow and ice are melting, so there’s still water on the roads, and wet roads can also be dangerous, just as the icy ones, because there is a danger of hydroplaning. Stay in the middle lane and don’t tend to drive too fast. Also, the temperatures vary and water tends to freeze when the sun goes down, so expect ice and slow down.
3) Always have your eyes on the road to avoid possible hazards. This is probably our most important spring driving lesson. Make sure you replace your windshield wiper blades and clean the inside and outside of the glass. In this time of year, potholes usually appear as a result of big temperature variations and freeze-thaw cycles that weaken the asphalt or concrete, so slow down and try to avoid them. When snowy, roads in more rural areas are somewhat covered with sand and salt, which provides more traction for the vehicles. If you are, for example, getting off the highway or a road with a good grip to a sandy road, expect it to be slippery. Occasional spring showers or heavy rains may flood the roads. When you get to a flooded section of a road, seek for another route because you do not know whether the road beneath the water level had been washed.
4) Stay far from the vehicle in front of you. Due to increased slipperiness, it is advised to increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. In normal conditions, drivers should apply the three-second-rule. Otherwise, if facing a storm, the proposed distance should be increased to eight seconds.
5) Pay attention to other traffic participants. Spring is a time when kids start playing outside, increased number motorcyclists and bicyclists and pedestrians should make you be on the lookout. If you are the one who drives a two-wheeler, practice good vision and drive so that you are visible to car and truck drivers. Keep on your side of the road, use lights and wear brightly colored outfits. Slow down when passing by schools, playgrounds and residential zones and be alert for children because they get carried away while playing and do not always notice traffic. Nowadays, pedestrians, especially teenagers, walk through the traffic while looking at their mobile phones. Texting and using social networks on their mobile phones distracts them from paying attention to the traffic, so eventually the drivers are the ones that need to partially think for them. Always keep your visions high and monitor the area around you.
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