As winter winds down, we’re conditioned to think that all the bad driving weather is behind us. While no driving weather is quite as bad a whiteouts through rural stretches of our country, spring presents its own driving challenges.
Here are four tips to help keep you safe while you’re on the road this spring.
Beware of black ice
Even though daytime temperatures are typically above freezing in the spring, nighttime temperatures still tend to drop below the freezing mark.
With all the melting snow, April showers, and fluctuating temperatures, roads can become covered in black ice resulting in slippery surfaces and reduced traction.
Be sure to check the weather and road conditions before getting on the road in the morning.
Look out for wildlife
After a long winter, wildlife will be active during the springtime as animals come out of hibernation and scavenge for food.
The increase in wildlife activity — especially during the dawn and dusk hours — means that drivers need to pay special attention to wildlife crossing signs and movement at the side of the road.
To help drivers stay safe, The Wildlife Collision Prevention Program writes, “There seems to be some evidence that animals that approach from the right side are avoided more successfully than animals that approach from the left, as drivers’ headlights illuminate that portion of the road better, and drivers pay close attention to the right-hand side of the road and the ditch.”
Make sure to pay attention to both sides of the road, especially in wildlife-dense areas.
Share the road
Nicer weather means an increase in people walking and cycling along roadsides. Crosswalks, bike lanes, and roadways will require drivers to share lanes and give way where appropriate.
Early in the season, many bike lanes will not have been cleared of debris like sand, salt, and garbage, and cyclists will often ride on the edge or outside of their bike lane. In Ontario, you must leave at least one metre between your vehicle and any cyclist or you could face a fine.
Check the condition of your tires
The inspection protocols that truck drivers are required to follow generally keeps drivers aware of the condition of their truck at all times of the year. However, with fluctuating temperatures and an increase in potholes in the spring, make sure to pay special attention to the wear and tear on your tires and their air pressure.
Spring is a beautiful time of year to drive, but there are still important safety considerations for truck drivers.
If you have any questions about road safety or what Minimax is doing to keep our drivers safe on the roads, don’t hesitate to contact us.