Spring Driving Hazards to Watch For in Wisconsin

Now that the weather is warmer, Wisconsin drivers have a whole new crop of driving hazards to watch out for. Safe driving practices should be followed year round — not just in the winter! Here at Westway Auto Body, we’d like to share these tips for safe spring driving in Wisconsin that will help protect you and your vehicle.

Rain

You may feel safer with the slippery snow and slush of winter behind you, but it’s important to remember that rain can be just as dangerous. In fact, rain is the cause of nearly half of all weather-related accidents. Spring rains in particular can make for slippery roads, thanks to oil and other fluids that leak from winter-damaged vehicles. There’s also usually more rain for a longer time in the spring, which can lead to puddles and standing water that cause hydroplaning, especially if your tires aren’t in great shape.

Potholes

After several months of extreme temperatures, the spring thaw can leave potholes behind. Hitting potholes at high speeds can do a number on your tires and hubcaps, undercarriage, axles, mufflers and shocks, not to mention your nerves. The best strategy is to stay alert and avoid hitting potholes all together. If that’s not possible, you should safely slow down when approaching, and roll through the pothole rather than braking rapidly.

Animals

During the spring, animals become more active and you’re apt to see a lot more of them crossing the road. Hitting an animal is not only distressing, it can be very damaging to your car, especially in Wisconsin where you might hit a deer or even a bear crossing the road. Be alert for animals while driving, particularly at dawn and dusk when they are most active. If you see one, make sure to brake safely by checking rearview mirrors and coming to a complete stop if needed. Avoid swerving, which causes the most animal-related accidents.

Bikes and motorcycles

Nice weather is also a time when more people in Wisconsin are out riding bikes and motorcycles. Be aware and alert to riders and remember that your vehicle can’t stop as fast as a lighter motorcycle or bike so don’t tailgate these riders.

Keep your vehicle safe this spring

Two of the most important components you should check on after the winter are your wipers and your tires. Windshield wipers wear down through the winter and are not likely to be able to keep your windshield clear when it’s raining, so get them replaced as soon as possible. You should also check your tires for good tread and proper inflation, which decreases the risk of hydroplaning in wet weather, makes it easier to stop suddenly, and can even improve your gas mileage.

Happy spring and safe driving from Westway Auto Body!