While the snow may be gone for good (we hope!), spring weather does have it’s own driving hazards to be aware of. Rain, mist, and fog can produce new challenges out on the roads. And remember, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians are more apt to be sharing our roadways at this time.
Spring Driving Tips in Minnesota
Use extra caution while driving and consider these safety tips from the Minnesota Safety Council:
- Slow down and increase your following distance when rain or mist begins to fall. Even a small amount of water can mix with oil and grease on the road to create slippery conditions.
- Use your low beam headlights. High beams reflect water vapor (fog) and make it harder to see.
- To keep the inside of your windshield clear of moisture, turn on your fan and defroster; the air conditioner may help, too.
- Avoid driving through large puddles; the splashing water may affect your brakes, cause your car to swerve, and impair the vision of other motorists.
- Watch the road to see if the vehicle ahead is leaving tire tracks, and if it is, follow in those tracks if you can for better traction. If it’s not, reduce speed slowly to prevent hydroplaning.
- Watch for icy conditions caused by spring rains or mist, especially in shaded areas, on bridges and on overpasses. Remember that these areas freeze first.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians, who may be less alert to traffic in the rain and fog, and more difficult for you to see.
Spring is also the time when road work begins or resumes, so expect construction. Pothole repairs, highway maintenance, and other road repairs may slow your drive.
- Stay calm, slow down, and be aware of the conditions around you.
- Be especially careful driving through work zones.
- Increase your following distance and avoid distractions.
Deer, bears, and other wild animals become more active in the spring, as the warmer weather brings animals out of hibernation.
- Be alert for wildlife in the road, and slow down so you can stop safely if animals are on or near the roadway.
- Tips on driving in deer country can be found here.