With spring comes flowers in full bloom and (sometimes) the sun, but also a host of potential hazards on the roads. At this time of year, it pays to be particularly aware of turbulent weather, a changing network of road users, and of course any damage left behind from the winter past.
April showers may bring May flowers, but they may also bring sudden torrential rain, hail, or even flooding. Before setting off in spring, familiarise yourself with our section on Rain and Floods. Slippery roads reduce your car's handling and increase the stopping distance considerably (up to 4 times the distance on dry roads). Flooding on roads, however minor, will significantly reduce tyre traction and can lead to aquaplaning.
During winter, water freezes inside crags in the road. The water expands as it becomes ice, which steadily breaks away at the top layer of tarmac. By the time spring rolls around, you should expect new potholes and a much more bristly road surface. Be aware that this may affect your car's handling and braking – larger holes may even cripple your suspension and undercarriage if you don't slow down.
As the climate warms up, you shall begin to notice cyclists and motorcyclists returning to the roads in greater numbers. Get back into the habit of checking your blind spots, and be especially cautious when emerging from junctions.
Driving alongside cyclists can make maneuvering, turning and parking alot more hazardeous.
Although the spring season is a modest relief from the harsh winter, it's worth checking that your vehicle is performing at its best. Take the opportunity to ensure that your tyres are properly maintained, replacing your winter tyres with a standard set if necessary. The snow and ice may also have taken their toll on your wiper blades so now may be the ideal time to invest in a new set.
Spring Driving Tips:
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