Are you relieved when the snow and ice are gone and you can drive once again on dry roads? Too many drivers forget − until the damage is done − that spring thaws often cause two major road flaws: floods and potholes.
Floods resulting from spring rains and melted snow are common, especially where normally placid streams run alongside a road or flow under low bridges. Driving through even the shallowest water can lead to sliding on slick road surfaces, hydroplaning, or brake failure. Mud splattering on the windshield or windows can obscure vision. And potholes created by thawing road surfaces or winterizing treatments can cause havoc, ranging from a simple need for tire realignment to significant damage to your car. In the worst case, road damage can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, ending in an accident or injury.
Perhaps the best spring driving advice is a natural result of another sign of spring - new growth:
- Slow down and smell the roses − or wildflowers or new grass.
- Avoid driving through standing water and potholes.
- Check your tire inflation, both for added protection and to adjust for warmer temperatures.
- Look out for pedestrians and cyclists brought out by the improving weather.
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