Although drivers are at greater risk during the winter months, warmer weather creates road hazards as well. During spring, a motorist should be familiar with springtime dangers and how they can reduce their risk for a car accident. Listed below are some vital springtime driving tips to increase safety.
Watch Out for Hazardous Road Conditions
Dangerous weather conditions wreak havoc on the roads and lead to the formation of potholes. Drivers can sometimes see potholes and maneuver around them; however, most of the time, potholes are not clearly visible. A vehicle that sinks into a pothole can cause significant property damage and even serious car accident injuries. Spring is often unpredictable. It can still snow and dip below freezing in the spring, so drivers should not assume that the roads will be in good condition. Also, leftover salt and sand on the roads from winter weather treatments can lessen traction.
Rain and even hail are common occurrences in spring, which can make roads slick and damage vehicles. Rain reduces visibility and can end up causing ponding on the sides of the road or wherever there is a depression. Ponding can cause hydroplaning and car accidents. With all the spring rain, mud is often a problem too. Drivers who get stuck in the mud or who have an accident should not call a friend to help. Instead, a motorist should call a professional towing service.
Springtime is also tornado and severe storm time. Motorists should not venture out when there is an alert. If an alert sounds while driving, motorists should drive home as quickly as possible. If home is too far away, a motorist should drive to the closest shelter, such as a store, restaurant, or another structure. If one sees a tornado while driving, experts suggest immediately driving in the opposite direction toward the nearest shelter.
When the sun it out, sun glare can be dangerous as well. Sun glare can reduce visibility, especially if a motorist is driving directly into the sunshine. A motorist should wear sunglasses and use the car’s sun visor to avoid an accident.
Winter can be tough on a vehicle and its tires. A motorist should take their car for service in the spring to ensure steering, tires, brakes, oil, fluids, and other systems are in top working order. It is important to not forget to wash the salt and sand debris off the car and windows as well.
Drivers should also keep an emergency supply kit in the car. This is good advice for any time of year. Car safety kit contents for the spring months include:
- Spare clothing and shoes
- Rain protection, such as umbrellas, ponchos, tarps
- Spare tire that is properly inflated
- Toolset made especially for cars
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Pet food if traveling with a pet
- Cellphone and car-friendly charger
- Navigation system and back-up paper maps
- Flares and caution cones
- Electronic visual and audible distress signal device
- Candles and lighters
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Glow sticks for signaling and emergency lighting
Continue Obeying Traffic Laws
During spring, drowsy driving is common, especially after daylight saving time (DST). Driver fatigue can cause a motorist to feel groggy, and the dark mornings can lead to driving errors and accidents. Even though it takes time to adjust to the time change, drivers should always follow traffic laws. This means that motorists should not drive if they are too fatigued.
Additionally, many motorists will want to travel and do errands since the roads are no longer covered with ice and snow. It is still vital to obey speed limits and traffic laws, use blinkers and lights, and drive courteously and safely.
Be Aware of Animals and Other Road Users
Spring is mating season for many animals, and better weather makes mobility easier for some creatures. Motorists should be on the lookout for deer, geese, squirrels, pets, and other animals on the road. Conversely, drivers should not brake quickly to avoid an animal if there are cars behind or coming in the other direction. Abruptly stopping can cause a rear-end accident.
Many people like to get out in spring, so there will be more pedestrians and bike riders. Car users should be cautious and drive safely and courteously around walkers, joggers, and riders. Always be vigilant about motorcycles, which sometimes can be difficult to see. Turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle is a common cause of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Additionally, children love the spring and like to play outside after being cooped up for the winter. Motorists should be on the lookout for children near or in the road, especially in neighborhoods. Children do not always look before crossing or entering the road.
Prepare for Long Road Trips
Spring break often means a long drive to a vacation destination. A traveler should make sure that their vehicle is ready and safe for the journey. Travelers should follow all of the above safety tips for an enjoyable and safe drive.
What Should I Do if I am in a Springtime Car Accident?
After a collision, the first step is to call 9-1-1 for help. Then, one should do the following:
- Check oneself, passengers, and other drivers for injuries.
- Move one’s car off to the side of the road if it is drivable.
- Move oneself and passengers out of danger, such as oncoming cars.
- Accept medical help from responding medics, even if one has no apparent injuries.
- Gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. Take pictures and videos with a cellphone and talk to bystanders and witnesses. Get witness statements along with their contact information.
- Respond thoroughly and honestly to the police but do not admit fault or guilt.
- Get information from the other driver involved in the accident, such as their name, phone number, insurer information, and license plate number.
- Get a copy of the police report as soon as it is ready.
- Seek medical attention if new symptoms arise after the accident.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Determining Fault in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania vehicle insurance laws are complex. The state has both fault and no-fault insurance laws and gives residents a choice of which type of insurance to buy. Pennsylvania residents can opt-in or opt-out of no-fault insurance. If they opt-in, their own insurance company will cover damages regardless of who is at fault. If they opt-out, they will need to prove that the other driver is at fault in order to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurer. Proving liability can be difficult, but an experienced car accident lawyer can help.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Victims of Springtime Collisions
An accident in the spring can cause serious property damage, severe bodily injuries, and emotional distress. Victims of vehicle accidents deserve to be fairly compensated for their losses. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC is ready to fight on your behalf and will help you get your entitled compensation. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.