As temperatures start to rise and flowers begin to bloom, driving can become a more dangerous task. With the sun shining again, more hazards come out of hibernation, putting drivers’ safety at risk. It is essential that, as the season changes, drivers maintain their focus on the road and awareness of their surroundings. In addition to these priorities for safer spring driving, each risk has its own ways to help combat them. We’ll break down each danger to safer driving and tell you just how you’ll be able to prepare yourself to face them!
Allergy Season and Allergy Medications
Spring season is also allergy season. When allergy season comes, people increase the amount of allergy medications they take in order to fight against congested noses, scratchy throats, itchy eyes, and any other allergy ailment they may be facing. This poses a risk to drivers as oftentimes allergy medications can increase drowsiness which can hinder one’s driving abilities. It is imperative that those taking to the roads that are affected by allergies look at the label of the medications they take or talk to their pharmacist.
While we can all appreciate the good the sunshine brings, it also creates one of the leading factors of accidents, sun glare. The glare from the sun, particularly during sunrise and sunset, can cause the vision of a driver to become obstructed and this can create unsafe driving conditions. The best ways to combat this are to make sure your windshield is clean to prevent smudges from scattering the light, having a pair of polarized sunglasses, and, if possible, driving north and south rather than west and east to avoid driving in the direction of sunrise and sunset.
Increased Amount of Road Interruptions and Distractions
Warm weather is inviting to all creatures. In the spring months, animal activity increases and can create distractions for drivers as the wildlife wander along the side of the roads or even become physical roadblocks if they end up in the road. Similar to animal activity increasing, more people find themselves spending time outside to soak up the sun in the spring. With larger amounts of pedestrians and animals out and about, drivers need to ensure that they keep watchful eyes for anyone or anything that may end up in the road.
During spring, more people turn to alternative modes of transportation such as bicycling or riding motorcycles. With increased amounts of bicyclists and motorcyclists on the road, drivers should make sure they maintain safe driving distances and are aware of their surroundings at all times so that they are ready to leave space for someone riding along them in the road.
Tire Pressure and Potholes
Tire pressure can be altered based on weather conditions. Cold weather causes low tire pressure and as we leave the winter months behind, drivers may still face low tire pressure. This poses a threat as the number of unnoticed potholes can be high as we leave winter and go into the rainy spring season. The combination of low tire pressure and large amounts of potholes in the roads can be devasting to a vehicle. Potholes can greatly affect cars as is, but when driven through in a car that has low tire pressure, the car’s damage can increase exponentially. Drivers should make sure they regularly check their tire pressure and look out for potholes in the road to keep themselves and their cars safe.
The phrase “April showers bring May flowers” exists for a reason; spring brings great amounts of rain. In 2023 we have seen an unprecedented amount of rain in California. As we go in and out of rainstorms, drivers should make sure to check that their windshield wipers are functional and that their tires have adequate tread. When taking to the streets during rain, make sure to always drive slower and have your headlights on.
When driving during this season, make sure to always be aware of what’s going on around you, be it the other cars on the road or activities going on along the road. With this said, drivers must make sure they find the balance of being aware of what is happening around them and not being so focused on it that it becomes a distraction. After all, safe driving on roads guarantees everyone will have a safer, brighter spring!