Spring driving tips
Top driving tips this spring
Spring is a wonderful time because the cold, dark winter is giving way to the warm sun and the promise of a wonderful summer. But springtime can be a challenging time to drive. Be careful on those roads!
Give your vehicle a spring clean
First off, as we change into a new season it’s always important to make sure your vehicle is up-to-par. After the icy and frigid conditions of the winter season, windshield wiper blades can become damaged and/or ineffective. This also goes for headlights, taillights, and brake lights. Make sure these safety features on your car are fully functional should you encounter heavy fog or rain during the spring season. Tyres should be properly inflated to ensure good tread.
With the change to daylight savings, you may be tempted to drive for longer periods. Driving while fatigued will cause you to have slower reactions, difficulty concentrating and poor risk judgement. When you start to notice signs of fatigue such as yawning, constant blinking and restlessness, the ideal option is to stop driving and have a rest.
However, as this is not always possible it is best to set yourself up to stay alert with these tips.
- Take a break every two hours
- Stay hydrated
- Share the driving if you can
- Eat light and fresh snacks
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Roads and heavy loads
Driving to the conditions doesn’t only mean the weather - it also means considering the load of your vehicle and the type of road you’re on. If you're packing the family and heading away or having a spring clean and travelling to the landfill, remember that when driving with a trailer or a heavier load the two-second rule becomes the four-second rule, as your vehicle will take longer to brake.
In some areas of New Zealand, a possible unfortunate element of spring weather is the increased likelihood of localised flooding and water build-up on roads. As snow begins to melt and precipitation levels increase, drivers may encounter large puddles and slippery roads. Never attempt to drive through a flooded section of the road as the pavement underneath may be compromised and unsafe. If possible, try to find a different route. Deep puddles can also stall your engine, interfere with your brakes, reduce visibility, or even lead to hydroplaning.
As the weather warms up, you’ll notice more people and animals getting outside.
This means there are more moving hazards to look out for while driving. Keep everyone safe by creating a safe distance around your vehicle. This buffer will give you more time to react to things such as cars backing out of driveways, dogs and their owners going for walks and children playing outside. The more space you have the safer you’ll be.
Keep your vehicle humming
Servicing your vehicle to ensure it is running smoothly, can help avoid those ever increasing petrol prices. There are some helpful tips on saving fuel in this article - although an old piece it's worth a read!
Are you ready for an emergency?
And last but definitely not least, always plan your route and ensure you’re prepared for any bumps along the way. This includes having a roadside emergency kit, a well-maintained spare tyre or a tyre repair kit, a flashlight, a fully charged phone, and a map.