Sunday March 20 marks the first day of spring. And though this season brings longer days and warmer temperatures, it also presents a unique set of driving challenges. Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare for variations in temperature, driving conditions, and activity on the roads this spring season.
Experts recommend waiting until the ambient temperatures reach 7 degrees C to replace your winter tires with all-seasons. As the temperature climbs past this point, winter tires wear faster, which can significantly impact your stopping distance.
2. Warmer temperatures bring out cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Be mindful that you will be sharing the roadways with an increased number of commuters. Also be extra vigilant in school zones, residential areas, near transit hubs, and other places pedestrians may convene.
3. April showers bring ... poor driving conditions.
Heavy spring rain and melt water often causes roadways to flood. Slippery roads can reduce your vehicle’s handling and increase stopping distance. Drive cautiously and defensively. After that, make sure your vehicle is storm ready by checking your lights, tire pressure, and wiper blades.
4. On that note, be wary of April flurries.
With the unwelcome return of winter weather comes congestion and slippery roadways. Give yourself extra time to get around if the weatherman calls for a late winter storm.
5. Look for dangers on the road surface.
Fluctuations in temperatures and the freeze-thaw cycles cause potholes to form. Reduce speed when approaching a pothole to avoid damage to your vehicle. Ensure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread. Every year the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) asks drivers, cyclists and transit riders to identify the roads they think are in most need of improvement.
6. Put your cell phone away.
In September 2015, the set fine for distracted driving was increased from $280 to $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. Moreover, cell phones, GPS and other entertainment devises can only be utilized in hands-free mode.
7. Schedule a spring check up with your mechanic.
Regular vehicle service is a key component to optimize the operation and safety of your vehicle. To ensure that your vehicle is safe and in good working condition you need to check all key parts.