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Drive safely this spring

Spring brings with it plenty of warm weather, outdoor activities and visiting.

Spring brings with it plenty of warm weather, outdoor activities and visiting. Days are longer, nights are warmer, and a hot summer is right around the corner.

Although spring can be a great season for driving, it can also be one of the most dangerous. Awakening wild­life may wander onto public roadways at night, and excited kids may do the same during the day. Heavy rain and temperature fluctuations typical of the season can make driving treacherous, too. The list goes on.

So, do you want to make sure you’re properly set up for safe springtime travels? Listed below are some pointers to make sure your family trips in the coming weeks are all safe ones.

Lights
Check for and replace burned-out bulbs on your car or truck as needed. It’s important to make sure headlights are aimed properly too, for maximum nighttime illumination. Check your owner’s manual for information on how to do this yourself, or head to your favourite mechanic for assistance.

Windshield and wipers
If you’re using rubber-wrapped winter-blades on your car, replace them with summer blades. Winter blades are bulky and not aerodynamic — they tend to lift away from your windshield at higher speeds. This reduces their effectiveness and poses a safety concern. A more aerodynamic summer wiper blade generally does a better job in warmer weather.

Applying RainX or a similar water-repellant to windows can make a huge difference in visibility during rainy conditions, too. Applied properly, it causes water to bead quickly and helps keep the windshield clean. You’ll want to fill up with a summertime washer fluid as well.

Motoring through April showers
Spring often brings heavy rainfall, which can pose a driving challenge. Remember that wet roads are the most slippery when it first starts to rain, as oil on the road’s surface begins to mix with water.

Leave lots of room. You’ll need at least twice as much of it to stop if the roads are wet.

No matter how strong the urge is to send a tidal wave sloshing over innocent pedestrians, intentionally driving into a large puddle is never a good idea. There may be something hidden under the surface, and a large amount of water can temporarily reduce the effectiveness of your brakes, too.

Be prepared
It’s not a bad idea to keep a survival kit onboard your ride, 365 days a year. In the case of a breakdown away from home, you may wish to have blankets, a supply of non-perishable food, candles, matches, cash and even a reflective vest.

Make sure you’re in top shape for a drive, too. Consider investing in some driving glasses to cut back on glare and eye fatigue, and avoid heavy meals before longer trips. Driving when you aren’t alert just isn’t worth the risk.

 
 
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