April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also be a hassle when you’re driving. While people most commonly associate winter with difficult driving conditions, spring can also bring its own unique challenges. From heavy rain and wind to potholes and pedestrians, drivers should be prepared for anything. Here are some tips to help you drive safely this spring:
- If your windshield wipers are on due to rain, your headlights should be too. Remember: this one isn’t just a safety tip, it’s the law in Massachusetts.
- Slow down and give yourself extra space. Stopping distances can increase in slick, rainy conditions — make sure you’re giving yourself the time and space you need to safely slow down.
- Prepare for strong winds. Spring rain in Massachusetts is commonly mixed with strong winds, so make sure you have a firm grip on your wheel.
- In windy conditions, you should also be more aware of larger vehicles on the road, which can be more susceptible to heavy winds, making it more difficult for drivers to stay in their lanes.
- Are you a spring allergy sufferer? Don’t forget that some allergy medications can make you drowsy, which could be dangerous if you are driving.
- Remember, spring brings more people outdoors. With more people out and about, it’s extra important to keep an eye out for pedestrians along the roadside.
- Warmer weather also brings out more bikers and motorcyclists. Remember to share the road and check for blind spots before turning, changing lanes, or passing other cars. Be mindful when opening road-facing car doors as well, to make sure you do not hit any passing bikers.
- Spring brings with it the dreaded pothole. Be careful when driving to avoid potholes as much as possible. If driving over one is unavoidable, slow down before making impact, hold the steering wheel firmly, and release the break as you drive over the pothole itself.
- Construction also tends to pick up during the spring. When driving through a construction zone, remember to slow down and watch for any workers who may be on the roadside.
- Don’t forget about spring car maintenance — it’s a good idea to get an oil change, check your fluid levels and filters, and inspect or replace your wiper blades. Here’s a full list of things to check to get your car in tip-top shape this spring.
Quick Tips: How to Avoid Hydroplaning in the Rain
- Slow down! Avoid quick accelerations, like when you are trying to pass someone, as this can increase your chances of hydroplaning.
- Don’t use your cruise control setting when it rains. If you were to start hydroplaning while in this setting, it would take you longer to slow down and regain control of your car.
- Avoid driving over any puddles if possible. This standing water can increase your chances of hydroplaning. Large puddles can also conceal deep potholes, which can damage your car as you drive over them.
If you do find yourself hydroplaning in the rain, remain calm and follow these steps:
- Take your foot off of the accelerator, but do not break. Sudden braking can make your car skid off the road even more.
- Gently turn your wheel in the same direction that your car is hydroplaning in. This may seem counterintuitive, but it will help your tires realign faster and will help you regain control of your vehicle.
- You’ll be able to feel when your tires have regained traction on the road. Wait until this happens before pressing on your brakes or accelerator.
Here at KW, we always want to make sure you are prepared for anything. If you have any more questions about driving safety tips or about your car insurance, feel free to give us a call at 781.751.9080 (Dedham Office) or 617.492.4150 (Cambridge) or visit our website.