Spring driving may seem less dangerous, but there are in fact many new factors to consider on the road that can impair your driving. Winter wear and tear will start to be evident in your car and you’ll see more potholes and cracks showing up on the streets — now busier with pedestrians. Prepare for the new season and read up on our 5 tips for driving into spring!
1. Look Out for Potholes & Construction
Spring is pothole season. Potholes form when water seeps through road cracks in the winter and then freezes to then expand when it gets warmer — causing the water to melt and the pavement to split. Potholes are the cause of over 500,000 insurance claims per year. Hitting them can cause more damage to your car than you think, and can also throw your vehicle out of alignment or severely damage your tires.
Potholes can appear overnight so keep a close eye on the road as well as the drivers in front of you. Watch out for puddles that may be hiding potholes and keep tires fully inflated in order to help avoid damage.
It’s also construction season! Roadworks that were postponed during the winter weather, now often resume in the spring. So, it’s time to keep your speeds low and be extra aware of what is going on around you, because unexpected road stops could be more frequent.
2. Watch out for more pedestrians & two-wheeled vehicles
The sun may have come out of hibernation, but that means people did as well and are likely taking advantage of the spring weather by walking or biking more. Therefore, it’s a good time to be more aware of adults and children using crosswalks or pedestrians who tend to be distracted or on their phones.
Two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles and cyclists will also be on the road commuting more now that the weather is better. Remember to be using your mirrors, checking for blind spots, and doing extra scans for motorcyclists when driving. Give bicyclists extra space on the road to help prevent accidents.
3. ICBC Changes Going Into 2020
The changes ICBC made in 2019 increased premiums for drivers who have been in more accidents and cracked down on distracted driving by enforcing higher penalties for using your phone on the road. ICBC also implemented a driver-based insurance model, meaning the person driving is liable for the crash. Under ICBC’s new driver-based insurance model, car owners will now have to list all drivers of their car on their insurance policy – including new drivers. Contact us to find out more about the recent changes and how they affect your insurance plan going into spring 2020.
4. Preparing your Vehicle For The New Season
The first step in preparing your car for spring is to remove winter tires. Many drivers leave them on, but this can actually compromise traction on dry roads.
Canadian winters can be harsh on batteries. Corrosion is a common concern with batteries and spark plugs, causing dangerous electrical issues. If you left your car sitting in your driveaway, not running for a period of time, your battery may have suffered. Harsher cooler weather can also cause a battery to deteriorate faster. It may be a good idea to get your battery tested and even replaced if you have an older vehicle and it is starting up slower than normal after the winter season. You don’t want to end up stranded with a dead battery during spring travels.
Snow and sludge can also cause your wiper blades to wear down. It’s important to have good, working wiper blades during spring showers and the wetter season.
5. Spring Weather – Watch Out for Spring Showers and Black Ice
Warmer weather, unfortunately, doesn’t mean that ice is gone from the roads. Especially in early spring, temperatures can still drop below freezing overnight. Combine this with an increase in rain, and the roads can get quite slippery. Watch out for black ice and increase your distance between yourself and the car in front of you to help avoid accidents. Driving through puddles can especially cause hydroplaning or impair your vision. Make sure to keep your speeds low, and always bring sunglasses for the drier days when the sun is beaming through your windshield.
Do you have questions about your insurance or want to know more about how ICBC’s changes will affect your premium? Stop by any Johnston Meier Insurance location and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Get in touch today.