We think of winter being a treacherous time to drive, but did you know that spring brings road safety hazards as well? It’s true! Get ahead of the game by checking out these tips for staying safe on the road this spring.
Watch out for bicyclists
Who doesn’t love a good bike ride? During springtime, kids, families, and commuters take to the road, and motorists must keep an eye out for them. And while bike lanes are popping up, they’re not the norm. Many bicyclists still ride side-by-side with vehicles on the road. Be sure to give them three feet of room, and always give them the right of way.
Spring showers are on the way
As much as we love to see spring on the horizon, we know that additional rain showers are right around the corner. These wet conditions include watery potholes, sheets of rain on the windshield, and spray from other vehicles. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 50 percent of all weather-related crashes from 2002 to 2012 were caused by rain. Even more jarring, wet pavement in general accounted for over 70 percent of crashes.
It’s easy for PNW drivers to become overly confident when driving in the rain. But stay alert and slow down. Keep plenty of space between you and other drivers and remember that when water mixes with oil on the roads it creates slippery, hazardous conditions.
It’s critter country
When spring begins, we come out of our dens and end our winter hibernation—figuratively speaking, of course. So do animals! Raccoons, possums, rabbits, dogs, cats, and deer will be crossing the roads at all hours. This is especially true late at night and early in the morning. Maintain a reasonable speed, keep your eyes on the road, and be ready to stop at any moment. For those that live in more rural locations, using your high beams will help you see animals farther away and more clearly. It also allows them to see and avoid you.
There’s nothing more beautiful than a PNW spring. Get out there and enjoy the Puget Sound and hike Mt. Rainier… just get there safely.