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6 Essential Spring Driving Safety Tips

Driving Tips
jason-baxtorJason Baxter

Here are 6 easy to forget driving safety tips for motorists to consider as they head out this spring:

1. Mind the Bikes!
As the weather warms this naturally brings out more motorcyclists and cyclists than in the winter months. Every motorist must ensure they have proper vision techniques and that they stay focused on the other vehicles around them. Looking out for and respecting two-wheeled travellers is an important part of safe motoring. Be especially careful when turning and opening the door of your parked vehicle before exiting it.

2. Warmer Weather Can Still be Hazardous
Realize that a wet road can be just as slippery as an icy one. Cars travelling at high speeds can hydroplane and lose contact with the road, which is as dangerous as hitting ice. Spring precipitation can also cause oil and gas run off from vehicles to rise to the top of the water surface, increasing the risk factor. For additional safety, drive in the middle lane, as water tends to pool in the outer lanes.

3. Leave a Little Extra Space
Staying farther back from the vehicle in front of you will reduce the probability of being rear ended or hit by kicked-up rocks in front of you. Increasing the distance between you and the vehicle you’re following in the rain is critical. Three seconds is generally considered a safe distance in normal circumstances. During a storm, increase this to eight seconds. 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 marker) 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. Keep Your Head on a Swivel
Spring is national Pothole Season in Canada. This is the time of year when drivers can experience wide fluctuations in road temperatures and freeze and thaw cycles. This combination causes potholes to form. In those places that snow and ice have dominated the winter months, the spring thaw can cause dangerous potholes. Avoid these at all costs however check your blind spots! If hitting a pothole is unavoidable, don’t simply slam on the brakes while traveling over them. Slow down, release the brake before impact and go over the pothole. Braking causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with more force than if you were to roll over the hole.

5. Don’t Forget Your Shades at Home
The shift in daylight’s saving time may mean that you’re now driving to or from work while the sun is rising or setting. Make sure you have a good a pair of sunglasses in the car and avoid getting blinded by the light.

6. Check Wiper Blades
This winter’s worth of snow, ice and salt has likely put a good beat down on your vehicle’s wipers. We would highly suggest replacing these. Also, ensure that your windshield and other car windows are cleaned with a proper window washer to improve wiper performance.

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