The sun is starting to shine, snow is beginning to melt, and temperatures are finally creeping up. It's easy to get excited with winter in the rear-view mirror and spring coming out in full force. However, the beginning of spring also brings some new dangers to the road. Keep these safe driving tips in mind when you're hitting the road this March.
1. Spring Cleaning for Your Car
Cleaning out your car after a long winter isn't the most glamorous aspect of car ownership, but it's still a good idea. Over the winter it's easy to let water bottles, fast food bags, and those pens that fell out of your backpack pile up in the backseat. Those loose objects, however, can turn into high-speed missiles if you're in an accident.
In addition to cleaning your car, March makes a great time for a car checkup. Take your car to a reputable mechanic shop for a spring tune-up. They'll check all the important parts of your car to make sure it's safe, including checking your tire pressure, refilling fluids, and performing routine maintenance like an oil change.
2. Be Aware on St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is a great time to get out and hang with friends. Unfortunately, it's known for high rates of drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 60 people were killed in 2016 due to St. Patrick's Day drunk drivers.
Keep yourself safe from drunk drivers by being extra aware on St. Patrick's Day. Start by buckling up. Being buckled is one of your best defenses against injury if you are hit by a drunk driver. If you see a driver who you suspect may be drunk, pull over and call the police. You'll help keep yourself, other drivers, and the impaired driver safe from an unnecessary accident.
3. Expect Unexpected Weather
By the end of spring, you know you can expect some rain mixed with warm sunny days. The beginning of spring isn't so predictable. Protect yourself against unexpected March weather by knowing what to do when the weather turns ugly.
Freezing Temperatures: March brings temperatures hovering right around freezing for many climates. Old snow banks along the road often meltdown during the day and create thin layers of ice on roads. When the temperature is sitting near freezing, take extra time driving so you are able to stop, brake, or turn on unexpected icy patches.
Flooded Roads: Springtime thaw and rainstorms often create too much water for regular roads to handle. If you approach a flooded roadway, don't drive into it. Turn around and find a different way. Only a few inches of water are needed to damage your car. Road debris, potholes, and even washed away roads might be covered up by water on a roadway.
Sudden Storms: You might find yourself stuck in a March storm while driving. Take it a little slower in wet weather so you have time to brake or turn on slick roads. If it gets too difficult to see or you feel uncomfortable driving, pull into the nearest parking lot to wait it out. It's a lot better to be safe and take a little extra time getting to your destination than to get into an avoidable accident.
When it comes to driving in March, don't rely on luck to keep you safe. Follow these springtime driving tips to make sure you have fun and stay safe on the roads this spring.