While winter driving in the intermountain northwest rightfully gets the bulk of the attention for safe driving warnings, springtime driving presents its own set of challenges. When drivers understand those challenges, they can prepare for them and hopefully avoid the property damage and personal injuries caused by spring driving accidents.
Winter weather takes a toll on roads as water fills cracks and holes, freezes, expands, thaws and creates potholes. As spring weather approaches, those potholes often go unrepaired and cause approximately $3 billion in vehicle repairs every year according to a study by AAA. Potholes can cause:
Potholes can sneak up on drivers, and depending on the speed of the vehicle and the severity of the pothole, cause serious accidents. Safety experts recommend gently braking when encountering a pothole, as opposed to a sudden swerve. Swerving can put you and those in your vehicle in a more dangerous situation, like a rollover.
As the winter weather thaws into spring, wildlife, pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles become more frequent on the roads. It’s the driver’s responsibility to be aware and to avoid accidents with them.
Wildlife – The most frequent wildlife on the roads in the intermountain northwest are deer. Accidents between deer and vehicles cause damage, injuries, and deaths. Experts agree that when drivers see deer in the road, the best course of action is to stay in your lane and brake firmly. Swerving is the wrong choice, as hitting another vehicle, a guardrail, or a tree likely results in worse injuries.
Pedestrians – With more pedestrians on the road as the weather improves, drivers must drive cautiously especially around crosswalks, intersections, and places with high pedestrian density. Caution near schools during the morning and the afternoon is especially important, as children are prone to darting suddenly into the road.
Bicycles and Motorcycles – While limited during the winter months, bicycles and motorcycles return to the roads in larger numbers during the spring. Giving bicycles and motorcyclists sufficient space on the road is essential to avoid accidents. Bicycles need at least 3 feet and motorcyclists need around a 4 second following distance.
As weather conditions change from winter to spring, drivers may be inclined to let down their guard. It’s true that as the snow and ice melt away, road conditions do improve but spring weather can change quickly, making driving difficult. In rain or snow conditions, increasing the following distance to allow for proper braking is essential to a safe drive.
Accidents, unfortunately, happen in all seasons. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you deserve fair compensation for what you’ve suffered. An experienced personal injury attorney from Craig Swapp & Associates is ready to help.
Call us at 1-800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation or let us know about your experience by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.