Preparing your vehicle for the months ahead

While most folks take the time to “winterize” their vehicles in the months leading up to winter, there is a general lack of knowledge of what to prepare for come spring time. We have, therefore, compiled a list of things that every driver should be aware of in their transition to spring driving. The issue that most people have with spring weather is that they fail to deal with the most common weather in the spring: rain. While winter may have afforded us heavy winds, snow, and icy road conditions, wet roads after a rain can be just as slick.

Bear in mind that water built up on the roads can cause your car to hydroplane, which can then cause the vehicle to skid. The rain also can lift oil and other fluids off of the concrete, which can lead to extremely slippery road surfaces, especially after rain. Drivers are advised to be cautious as any combination of these rain related elements can prove damaging and costly! We advise slowing down on wet roads and considering vehicles equipped with ABS systems and all-wheel drive.

Along those lines, make sure that you start out with a safe car in the first place! Do your homework; find cars rated the highest in collision features as well as collision-avoiding features. We recommend vehicles with electronic stability control, a feature shown to have a positive effect on accident avoidance.

Another area that people commonly overlook? Their tires. We recommend keeping your tires in tip top shape to avoid hydroplaning, losing control and most importantly, to help out your fuel economy! In order to decide whether your tires need changing, there are a number of tricks. The first, and easiest, is the penny trick. Place a penny, with Lincoln’s head down, into the groove of your tire. If you can see the top of his head, then your tires are too worn and it’s time to replace.

One thing that I can’t stand is the steady screeching rhythm of worn out wiper blades. Worn blades also pose a threat to you as well as other drivers; impairment of vision can lead to worsened traffic problems. Especially after a long winter, the blades can be frayed and become ineffective at removing rainwater or other debris. It is also important to make sure that your windshield is clean inside and out; good wipers can clean the film on the inside of the windshield!

Make sure to do your rounds on your lights as well. Spring rain and fog can drastically reduce visibility, which can easily be remedied with lights that are fresh and powerful, over those that are either out or on their way out. Lights are important for visibility as well as communicating your actions to other drivers, which further reduces the chances of accidents by making sure everyone on the road knows what the other drivers are doing.
Always make sure to note any safety resources available to you. The more you know, the better prepared you are for the conditions of the road. The educated driver is much more capable of effectively managing the spring elements.

Finally, take your time driving this spring. So many accidents can be avoided with careful driving, and weather concerns only worsen the chances of safe driving. Be cautious with your vehicle and others on the road; let’s do our best to make sure everyone travels safely this spring.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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