Safety Tips for Spring Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest
Humorist Will Rogers was quoted as saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it will change.”
That’s not only true for Sooner State residents. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s hard to say what you will get from moment to moment as the seasons change. But we do know that there are several areas of caution to consider as you plan your spring road trips. One piece of useful advice is to take a look at your insurance policy to make sure it’s up to the seasonal challenge.
Here’s that and six more tips to keep you and your family safe as you take to the roads and highways of the PNW this spring.
1. Take That Bit about Changing Weather Conditions for Your Spring Road Trips Seriously
Like we said, the Will Rogers quote also works for the PNW. Spring here can mean sunny skies and balmy temperatures one day and a blast from winter’s past the next. You might even get both extremes on the same day.
That means it’s important to take in the latest forecasts and stay on top of changing weather news while you hit the road. And have warmer clothes on hand even if current conditions call for shorts and flip-flops.
2. Get Your Ride Roadworthy in the PNW
Schedule an appointment with your favorite mechanic for a spring look-over. Off come the snow tires or chains. Check the brakes, get your oil and filters changed, and inspect your tires. Think of it as spring cleaning for your car — a chance to reduce your safety risks as much as possible when driving conditions change.
3. Remember, Rain Is Different Than Snow (But Just as Dangerous)
Wait…it doesn’t rain much in the PNW, does it? Just kidding! Although you might be surprised to learn that none of the states in the PNW are among the top ten rainiest US states.
Still, if you’ve lived in this area for any time at all, you definitely have experience driving in the rain. But after six months of winter (or at least it seems that long), you might be a little rusty at it. You might figure that the snow is gone, so you’ll have no trouble at all gripping tires to pavement.
The truth is, hydroplaning in the rain can be just as risky as motoring over a patch of black ice. And heavy rain on your windshield can be as challenging to your visibility as the harshest blizzard. So respect the rain and drive carefully.
4. Watch Out for Actual People in the Pacific Northwest
We’re talking about those bipeds you haven’t seen much of since early fall. But when the weather gets nice, walkers, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and skateboarders come out to play.
In other words, you no longer own the road. So drive cautiously and keep your eyes peeled for the humanity you might see at intersections, on the shoulders of roads, and jaywalking just about everywhere you go.
5. Know That the First Signs of Spring Are Robins (and Potholes)
Reality intrudes. Yes, you’ll know you’ve hit the heart of spring the first time you nearly shatter your springs and lose a few fillings driving over a pothole.
A quick and painless science break: Potholes have dozens of causes, but the primary reason has to do with the expansion and contraction of road surfaces as the cold season turns warmer and ice pops out sections of pavement.
Whatever the science, potholes can mean trouble for your car and even make you lose control of your vehicle. They’re potentially dangerous, not just an irritation. So assume that there’s at least one canyon-size pothole awaiting your tires at all times, and you’ll drive with optimal care.
6. Check Out Your Car Insurance Policy before That Spring Road Trip
Does your policy actually meet your needs as you prepare to travel in the great PNW? Should your deductible be raised or lowered? Do you have minimal coverage? If so, does that affect your planned travels financially?
If you had to take a pop quiz on the details of your auto insurance policy right now, how well would you do? If you’re like most of us, you’d fail the test. That’s why it might be time to take your policy out of safe storage, dust it off, and call up your car insurance agent for an interpretation of what is and isn’t there. Do this before your trip, and you’ll be in good shape this spring.
And don’t forget: You may be eligible for some new car insurance discounts if your circumstances have changed during the year, so be sure to ask.
Finding Affordable Auto Insurance Online Today
Your Vern Fonk independent insurance agent is eager to answer all your questions to make your planned spring road trips as safe as they’re entertaining. Visit us for a fast and free car insurance quote or call us at (800) 455-8276. You can also visit an agent at your nearby Vern Fonk Insurance office location in the Pacific Northwest.
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