Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the winter ice has finally melted - which means the roads are full of new hazards. These could include water on the roads, potholes, animal activity, and even joggers and bicyclists. It's critical to watch out for these dangers because all of them could potentially cause an accident. Read on for a list of four hazards to watch out for when the roads start to thaw:
In many states, including Pennsylvania, winter wreaks havoc on the roads. Snow plows, salt, and the aftermath of ice can all leave roads a bit battered. Once snow melts away, expect to drive over new potholes.
What can you do about potholes? Not much, really - besides trying to avoid them when you see them coming, that is. Not only can they damage your car, they can also cause accidents. Leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you, and constantly scan the road ahead for hazards.
Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. According to the Federal Highway Administration, five percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on wet pavement and 47 percent of those happen during rainfall. Nearly 5,700 people are killed and more than 544,700 people are injured in crashes on wet pavement annually.
What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? For one, slippery roads reduce your car's handling and increase the distance it takes to stop. Big puddles can also cut down on tire traction and could lead to hydroplaning. As always, drive with caution on days when there is water on the roads. This is also a good time of year to make sure your tires are in good condition, and to swap out those old winter tires with all-season ones if necessary.
Animals become increasingly active during the spring. Some are emerging from hibernation, and others are entering mating season. This results in more animals crossing streets and roaming around, including stray dogs, rabbits, and geese. Many animals, especially deer, are most active at dawn or dusk. Be on the lookout and watch the side of the roads carefully, especially at night when their eyes may illuminate. To be extra safe, consider cleaning your headlights or replacing your bulbs.
Joggers and Cyclists
As the weather gets warmer, drivers need to be more aware of an increase of joggers and cyclists. In 2015 alone, 70,000 pedestrian injuries from motor vehicle crashes were reported in the United States. To avoid causing an accident, be sure to exercise caution in high traffic areas and obey the posted speed limits. Break for pedestrians at crosswalks, and yield to both pedestrians and cyclists when turning at an intersection. When passing a cyclist, leave a few feet between you to ensure both their safety and yours.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the team at Dugan & Associates is here for you, and we're ready to look at your case. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum monetary compensation available to you. Contact us for your free consultation.