spring-driving-sm | watch for spring driving hazardsThe days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. We may not have to worry about driving in the snow anymore this season, but the effects of Old Man Winter may still be felt for a while in some parts of the country. Even if it’s warm and sunny by day, there are still plenty of driving hazards to heed – especially in and around Denver.

The following is a list of five such Spring driving hazards:

Water on the Road

Excess water on the surface of the roads from snow thaw and spring showers can wreak havoc with your traction and control. Exchanging your winter tires for all-season ones will help significantly.

Take it a little slower on wet roads and try to avoid driving through large puddles- you never know what could be lurking at the bottom. Also, be mindful of black ice in the event the temperature drops below freezing again.

Potholes

Another hazard caused by excess water on the roads is potholes. They can do major damage to your vehicle’s suspension and alignment. And as temps begin to warm a little, you will inevitably discover more and more of these nuisances on the road.

As snow thaws, moisture percolates through the pavement softening the gravel. If this water freezes again, it will expand, destroying the integrity of the road surface and causing potholes. Keep an eye out for them and avoid them when possible.

Slush

Slush is that disgusting dirty-snowy muck that accumulates on the side of the road as the ice begins to melt. It behaves differently from snow and ice because it grabs at your tires, slowing your movement suddenly and causing difficulty navigating.

On your windshield, it can disrupt visibility that windshield wipers can’t handle. Accumulation of slush, grease, and chemicals underneath your vehicle can lead to corrosion. Cleaning your vehicle regularly during these transition months will help.

Thaw-Freeze Cycle

Just because the calendar says spring is here, it doesn’t mean all that moisture on the roads won’t freeze again. It’s not unusual for thawing done by daytime temps to be undone when the nighttime temps drop below freezing. Be especially mindful of black ice on bridges and overpasses after overnight freezing.

Being aware of the road conditions ahead of time, and watching your speed while you’re driving can help keep you from falling victim to slick spots.

Neglecting Vehicle Maintenance

Just as hazardous as inclement weather is an improperly maintained vehicle. The change in the weather should be a good reminder to have your vehicle inspected and serviced. Replace worn out or malfunctioning lights, wipers, and other parts.

Washing your car well is another good way to check for areas that need attention and remove a winter’s worth of grime and dirt that can impede your ability to drive safely.

Further Reading: 7 Tips for Safe Spring Driving

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