Vehicle checks & balances
Following a winter hiatus, you may be anxious to get your fun & sporty vehicles back on the road. Perhaps you are ready to put the top down and cruise. Before you hit the road it’s important to check the working condition of your vehicle as it has been garaged all winter.
Be sure to thoroughly check the fluid levels (oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid), tire condition, tire pressure, lights (brake and parking, headlights and backup), suspension and brakes. In addition, inspection sticker and registration are up to date if the vehicle has been off the road for longer than a season.
With warmer weather comes more animal activity. Some critters are emerging from hibernation or dormant winter activities. It’s also the time where many animals will begin to have offspring close behind. Be aware of animals in the road, either crossing or preparing to enter the roadways. Larger animals, such as deer, moose and bear, are often no match for your vehicle.
Motorcycles and bicyclists
Share the road. The first warm dry days always entice riders to bring their bikes out for a little pleasure. Understanding that motorcycles and bicycles are not as visible on roadways as cars and trucks, it is important to pay extra attention. When following behind motorcycles, allow for added stop time. When passing bicyclists using bike lanes, allow extra room between them and your vehicle incase either needs to shift lanes briefly.
Rain, wind and mud
Rain and fog from warming air and cooler grounds can cause reduced visibility. Potholes also begin to emerge as roads thaw and pavement shifts. Always be aware of road conditions and adjust speed and follow distance accordingly.
When possible, slow down and/or drive around large puddles. Deep puddles may cause water to get into your brake system and hinder effectiveness. Wet roads and high speeds can also cause loss of traction (hydroplaning) leading to accidents.
Increased Foot Traffic
Anticipate more pedestrians as weather improves. Be especially cautious in residential areas, and school zones as children may be at play and inadvertently dart out in front of your vehicle. Also use extra caution in parking lots and shopping areas. Pedestrians crossing parking lots with bags and packages or entering and exiting parking spots may not be cognizant of you and your vehicle.
Spring time often means renewed roadway construction projects. When approaching a construction zone or roadside worksite always reduce speed. Be sure to scan the scene for work crews, as often work can be happening in and on the roadways, themselves. Construction vehicles frequently exit and enter the area via primary roadways. Allow for extra time as traffic may be stopped or delayed.