6 Spring Safe Driving Tips for Washington State Motorists
You didn’t think it would ever happen, but it did. Winter disappeared — for the most part, anyway. More on that later. What’s important to remember is that the new season still has its driving challenges. That’s why the following spring safe driving tips, plus the right car insurance, could protect your safety and that of loved ones.
1. Remember, Calendars Sometimes Lie
You so want it to be spring. We all do. So, when we get several days in a row that feel balmy and smell of hyacinths, we can easily convince ourselves that the endless winter is over. And the calendar agrees with us. But the truth is that winter is fickle, especially here in Washington State.
Even when the ice is gone and snow is a distant memory, the harshest season can make a brief comeback. That’s why it’s important not to forget your winter driving tips altogether. Keep an eye on the local forecast and caution younger family members to drive cautiously if it looks like a late-season snowstorm or ice buildup is possible.
2. Dodge the Potholes
Winters in Washington State are immediately followed by pothole season. You won’t find a hint of that on the calendar, but the evidence is everywhere on the roads. There are about 40 different causes of pothole damage, with such colorful names as pop-out, de-cracking, frost heaving, and slab breaks.
The most common pothole damage occurs as the result of road surfaces expanding during the cold months. Water gets into cracks; freezes and expands; and eventually “pops out” a section of pavement.
Potholes can mean big trouble for your tires and suspension system. The rough ride can also cause accidents. So, take it slow and easy on pavement that’s in less-than-ideal condition this spring and beyond.
3. Share the Road
Winter can be a lonely season, especially on the roads. You share your drive with very few hardy pedestrians or bicyclists, but all that changes when the weather does. That first 60-degree day brings people out from indoors. You’ve suddenly got walkers, skaters, bikers, and scooter pilots, all claiming a piece of the road you’re navigating.
After months without seeing much sign of humanity on those roads, your instincts might have dulled to the threat. Don’t let the sudden congestion catch you by surprise. Your safest bet is to simply assume that the streets will be clogged when those mild spring days first make an appearance.
4. Get Reacquainted With Rain
Yes, you know all about driving in the rain. You live in Washington State, after all. But maybe you’ve forgotten after several months of the fluffier stuff. Rain causes different visibility challenges than snow. And it can be as slick under your tires as ice if you’re not careful.
Make sure you’re ready for the season with a good set of windshield wiper pads and ensure your brakes and tires can take any wet and slick challenge.
5. Watch Out for Standing Water
What happens to snow after days and weeks of temperatures above freezing? Right…it melts. It turns to a lot of water. And you have no idea where that water will gather until you happen to drive through it.
If you’re driving in mountainous regions of the state, take flash flood alerts seriously. The same applies if you’re driving along a large body of water. Sometimes it’s simply a long rainy season and backed-up storm drains making roads unsafe.
Always be on the lookout for sudden spring flooding. You don’t want to get caught in a hydroplaning event, where you lose total or partial control of your steering and braking. Very little can be more dangerous than hydroplaning at 65 miles an hour.
6. Reexamine Your Washington Car Insurance Policy
Are you getting the most out of your coverage? Just like spring often triggers an in-depth cleaning of your home, it might also provide a good time to strike up a chat with your insurance agent and see if your Washington car insurance is doing all that it should.
For instance, some insurance companies offer discounts for seasonal tune-ups or the installation of special safety features. Does yours? Or, if not, should you switch to a plan that does? It never hurts to ask.
Contact Vern Fonk Insurance for Affordable Car Insurance Today
Your Vern Fonk independent insurance agent can answer all your questions and make sure you have the most affordable Washington car insurance policy for your needs. Simply call us at (800) 455-8276. You can also visit an agent at your nearby Vern Fonk Insurance location or get a fast and free car insurance quote online.
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