The Surprising Hazards of Spring Driving
Do you know what things specifically make spring driving more risky?
First, balmy spring weather brings out more motorcyclists, bicyclists, skateboarders, runners, walkers, and children playing outside. That means more danger of someone—possibly someone you don’t see until it’s too late—dashing out in front of your car or weaving in and out of traffic.
Motorcyclists look forward to being able to enjoy their bikes after the cooler weather and before the extreme Texas heat hits. Unfortunately, it has been well-documented that motorcycles are harder for drivers to see than are other cars. One reason is their smaller size. Another reason is that while we expect to see other cars on the road, we often don’t expect to see motorcycles. This is especially true after months of colder weather when many motorcycles have been in “hibernation.”
Bicyclists also look forward to hitting the streets in the beautiful spring weather. Though it can be frustrating when groups of bicyclists swarm roadways, it is important to remember that they have the same rights as other vehicles on most roads. So, all drivers need to show them deference and respect and be particularly careful at intersections and aware of blind spots when turning, passing, or merging.
While children are often driven to school through the winter months, many will opt to walk or ride their bikes in the springtime. There are also more children playing in their yards in the spring, and that means more chance of a child running out in the road to stop a wayward ball or underestimating how much time he or she has to cross in front of you on a skateboard. And it’s not just small children that drivers need to be aware of. Teenagers may be too fixated on their phones to pay attention to cars coming towards them.
And when watching out for living things that can put you at risk of an accident, don’t forget animals. Spring is when they come out of their own hibernation and forage for food. Though these newly sprung critters aren’t as much of a risk in the city, drivers need to be particularly alert when driving in rural areas—especially during the early morning and evening hours when animals are most active. If you do find a wandering animal in front of you, make sure that if you swerve to avoid it you aren’t putting yourself in the path of another vehicle or person.
As drivers in North Texas, we all know how dangerous the roadways can be during one of our violent spring storms. Rain pelting the windshield can destroy visibility, high winds can make cars difficult—if not impossible—to control, hail can smash windshields and turn roads into obstacle courses, water on the streets can make them as slick as if they were covered in ice, and flooding can mask dangerous road conditions. And the risks aren’t eliminated after the storms calm and the water dissipates. Incessant storms can leave damaged roads and soft, rutted shoulders in their wake, so watch out for potholes and be extra careful if you end up on the shoulder and need to maneuver back onto the road.
There’s one more thing to watch out for in the spring—road construction. Though we all hate to have to slow down, it is imperative for drivers to do so—not only to avoid heftier fines, but to avoid obstacles that can result in accidents.
And remember, if you do get in an accident, come to an Accident and Injury Chiropractic office near you—no matter how minor the collision may be. Even the smallest fender bender can lead to serious health consequences. Here at Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we want you to be able to enjoy spring along with the rest of the Metroplex.