Springtime hazards drivers should consider

Rainy weather

With so much attention given to the numerous hazards of winter driving, an Illinois car accident attorney knows it is easy to forget that each season comes with its own safety considerations. While winter still has its grip on Illinois, spring starts March 20, so area motorists should start keeping their eyes peeled for signs of spring on state roadways.

Those signs may come in the form of frost heaves, potholes or other indications of a winter passed. They may also manifest in the form of small animals, strong rains or the sights and sounds of children playing outside. A motorist is more apt to notice and safely avoid these hazards when their presence is anticipated. Here is a look at the potential hazards for which Illinois motorists should be on high alert in the coming season.

Potholes

Potholes are frustrating and inconvenient, but they are also dangerous. Drivers who hit potholes at certain angles are at risk of damaging their car’s suspension and alignment, but the dangers go beyond that. Hitting a pothole can disrupt the normal driving pattern and cause car accidents, both for the driver who hits it and for nearby motorists. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about potholes on Illinois roadways other than to attempt to avoid them until they are filled in.

Wet roadways

While wet roadways prove hazardous to winter drivers, the problem often compounds in the spring due to excessive snowmelt and spring showers. Motorists should make sure their tires have adequate tread, and that they remove seasonal snow tires in favor of all-season alternatives. It is also advised that drivers attempt to avoid any large puddles. Not only is there a chance that a puddle is hiding a pothole, but drivers may splash other vehicles, impairing the visibility of other drivers or pedestrians.

Poorly maintained vehicles

An Illinois car accident lawyer is aware that winter and spring can wreak havoc on vehicles, particularly in often hard-hit Illinois. Freezing temperatures, ample snow and water and bumpy roadways can all have negative effects on a car’s tires, suspension and engine. It is important to replace worn-out windshield wipers immediately and thoroughly washing cars to remove any remnants of salt or chemicals. Finally, motorists are encouraged to check both brakes and tires for any signs of damage, and top off any fluids to ensure adequate supplies.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports 93 automotive fatalities on state roadways this year already, so keeping that number as low as possible is a priority for state residents, as well as an Illinois car accident lawyer. While driving is a dangerous activity regardless of time of year, spring offers its own unique hazards. Learning to recognize and avoid those hazards is an Illinois motorist’s best bet for staying safe on the road.