We are hoping it’s safe to finally say the worst winter in years is finally behind us (knock on wood) and it’s time to welcome spring. With the melting of the snow comes easy spring driving, right? Not quite. Spring brings its own driving hazards, so don’t let your guard down yet.
You already drive a Subaru, so you’re already on the right track when it comes to safety, but here are some tips to make sure you stay safe this spring.
A WET ROAD IS JUST AS BAD AS AN ICY ROAD
With spring comes rain and with rain comes wet roads. Be cautious — tires can and will hydroplane, losing contact with the road, which is just as bad as hitting a patch of pure ice. Rain also causes any oil that has dripped onto the road to rise to the top of pools of water, making it even slipperier. Water tends to gather in the outside lanes, so when it is raining and wet out, try to stay in the middle lanes for the safest drive.
REPLACE WORN TIRES AND WIPER BLADES
If you have been driving on all-season tires all winter long, check your tires for worn treads, which will cause a loss of traction. While you’re at it, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Also check and replace your wiper blades. This winter had a lot of snow, ice and salt that does a number on your wipers. If they look at all worn, replace them with new ones. Also clean your windshield with a good cleaner to improve wiper performance.
WATCH FOR POTHOLES
We live in Canada and that spring means more than budding trees. It also means pothole season. Snow and ice dominated our region this winter and the spring thaw can cause potholes. Keep an eye out and avoid them if you can, but if you can’t, don’t break while driving over them. Slow down, but release your brake before impact. Braking causes your tire to slam into the edge of the pothole with far more force than if you allow your vehicle go over the pothole.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
When you are driving in normal circumstances, three seconds is a safe distance behind the car ahead. However, when it is raining or storming, increase this distance to eight seconds. To find out if you are following at a safe distance, choose a fixed point or object, like a street sign, when it is even with the car in front of you. If you reach that point before you count to eight, back off a bit.
SHARE THE ROAD
With warm weather comes cyclists and motorcyclists. Stay focused and watch the road to be aware of these smaller vehicles. Looking out for and respecting cyclists is just as important as watching for other larger vehicles.
WATCH FOR CHILDREN
The cold winter kept children inside for months and they are excited to get back outside. Pay careful attention in residential neighbourhoods and school zones. Kids are easily distracted when they are playing and may not always notice oncoming traffic. Also watch for teenagers and other pedestrians who are fixated on the phones and also aren’t paying attention to the traffic around them.
Even though your Subaru is built to keep you safe, no one can completely what happens when you take to the roads. With these tips in mind, have a safe spring!