April 15th, 2015
It is the season every loves - spring. Temperatures are warming up after another harsh winter, the days are becoming longer and the trees are turning green. But with the pleasantries comes some driving challenges. Drivers cannot afford to let their guard down during the spring. Wet roads, poor road infrastructure and other maintenance needs will cause headaches for drivers. If they are not careful enough to take the necessary steps, driver's cars become less safe and may lead to accidents. In turn, car owners could see their auto insurance rates would rise.
There are some important items drivers must be aware of during the spring:
Roads heading into winter in bad shape typically come out of that season looking even worse. Signs of poor road conditions are the numerous potholes littering the streets. Potholes form due to wet roads and the extreme effects of freezing and subsequent spring thawing. The calendar may read April, but it is not unusual for there to still be below average temperatures. Drivers are encouraged to report potholes, but some cities may not have the money or manpower to repair everyone. Larger potholes are easier to spot, but smaller ones may cause the most harm to a vehicle. Drivers should keep an eye out for puddles of water on the road. When a pothole has been spotted, drivers should proceed slowly.
In a February 2014 study, the AAA estimated pothole damage costs drivers $6.4 billion a year. Damages for a single car owner can be as little as $50, or much more expensive if a car's suspension is damaged. Pothole damage is usually covered by insurance companies if drivers have opted to get collision insurance and there is extensive damage. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, as potholes may cause other accidents. Sudden maneuvers may lead to side-swiping other cars, for instance.
May is the month vibrant flowers start to unveil themselves. But it needs to rain in April to get there. For drivers, that means many slick roads. Even during light rain, drivers need to take caution. Drivers should allow more room to brake, and slow down to lower the chances of their car hydroplaning. When on the highways, avoid driving closely behind semi trailers or larger trucks, as the spray can quickly cover drivers' windshields and hinder their vision. Tires should also be regularly checked and replaced if need be. Bald tires are more prone to hydroplaning.
An often forgotten device on a car, wipers are extremely important during the constant rains of spring. Wipers are made of rubber and deteriorate over time. Drivers may have a difficult time seeing properly because old wipers tend to leave smear marks, or may not properly clean the windshield at all. Many insurance companies recommend wipers be replaced every six months, especially for those living in colder climates. Allstate Insurance said grit and salt tends to wear wipers out quickly.
As the weather warms, everyone wants to get outside. The roads will become more congested with cars, bikes, walkers and runners. It goes without saying that drivers should already be driving cautiously, but even more so in congested areas that become popular with warmer weather. Drivers should always check for bikers and slow down when pedestrians may choose to not cross at crosswalks.
Spring driving poses many areas of concern for drivers. For those who may not have auto insurance or are looking for new rates, CoverHound provides a user-friendly website to do so.