Now that it’s officially spring, it’s time to roll down your windows, turn up the radio, and enjoy the ride. The snow and sleet have passed, so what’s a driver to worry about? Turns out there are a handful of spring road dangers you may not have considered, including animals, pedestrians, and flash floods! Read on to learn more about these surprising spring road dangers and how you can avoid them. You could save a life, and even some money on your low cost car insurance.
Watch out for wildlife!
Each spring and summer, millions of wild baby animals in the United States are orphaned or injured due to collisions with cars, reports the nonprofit Wildlife in Crisis, Inc. After a hard rain, frogs and toads also flock to the road, bringing with them both mammals and birds looking for a delicious meal of dead frogs and worms.
To avoid running into wildlife on the road, be especially careful during dawn and dusk. Both nocturnal and diurnal animals are most active at this time. If you see an animal near the side of the road, slow down and beep your horn. What’s more, don’t litter! Littering needlessly attracts hungry animals to the roadside. Plus, you could receive a hefty fine for littering in most states.
Warm weather means more people will be out walking and biking. Even if your city has bike lanes, give cyclists their space and leave at least three feet between them and your vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 677 bicyclists lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes in 2011.
The same year, 4,432 people were killed in pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When turning at an intersection, watch out for pedestrians in or near the crosswalk. Not all pedestrians pay attention when crossing the road. Some are texting and others are talking on their phones. We all know there’s such a thing as distracted driving, but distracted walking exists too! Pay attention to these pedestrians. They may or may not obey the crosswalk sign.
No way. A natural disaster?
Spring brings flowers, but also showers and snowmelt. According to Ready.gov, floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Flash floods can occur quickly and without warning. They can be brought on by heavy rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam.
If you see water flowing across the roadway, don’t assume you can cross it! The water could be much deeper than you think, could sweep your car away, or cause you to hydroplane. If the bottom isn’t visible, you don’t know what could be waiting for your tires under there. There could be a giant pothole, construction debris, or nothing at all. Just in case, try to avoid driving through standing water.
Spring is a great time for road trips, picnics, and outdoor sports. By all means, get out there and enjoy the weather, but be safe doing it. You could save an animal’s life, save your car from a catastrophe, and even save on your low cost car insurance if you can avoid filing a claim. Whatever you choose to do this spring, have fun. Head over to our Facebook page or tweet us @DirectAutoIns to share how you’re staying safe out there!