We have dry roads and clear skies. What’s the risk behind spring driving?
After a couple months of rain, rain, and more rain, many of us get a Bay Area version of cabin fever. At the first hint of sunny, warm weather (like this past weekend), we can’t wait to get outdoors. All that excitement comes out on the road, and we tend to drive faster than usual (myself included). Higher speeds, combined with other conditions, can lead to collisions.
Here are a few safety precautions to remember as you plan your spring break getaway or your next weekend road trip.
Speeding caused 9,717 fatalities in 2017 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Whether you’re driving to work or to the golf course, speeding won’t get you there any sooner, but it may get you a speeding ticket, which will put a dent in your summer vacation funds. Safe driving saves you time and money in the long run.
Watch for potholes
All that rain made Oakland’s poor road conditions worse. Watch for new potholes when you’re driving, walking, or biking.
Watch for more pedestrians and cyclists
Improved weather conditions bring people out of hibernation. From spring through fall, expect to see more cyclists and pedestrians on the roads. Look behind and beside you for cyclists in or near your path of travel. Stay especially cautious when making turns, pulling into a parking spot, and when opening your car door.
Slow down at all crosswalks and stop to give pedestrians the right of way. Remember tip #1.
More rain and snow
We’re having a temporary dry spell now, but we’ll likely see more rain showers over the next month. When they return, expect slippery road conditions as the oil and water mix. Increase your stopping distance and–again–reduce your speed when it’s raining.
If you’re driving to Tahoe to get in another weekend of skiing, know the area still has mountains of snow. Be especially careful on icy bridges and overpasses and when driving on winding roads. Make sure your vehicle has the right tire pressure and good-condition windshield wiper blades before your next trip.
By staying alert and obeying the speed limit, you can avoid most of the risks of spring driving. If you do find yourself in a serious fender-bender, call our office as soon as you’re able for a free consultation.