SAFETY TIPS FOR SPRING DRIVING

Spring is on the horizon and that means that warmer weather is just around the corner. However, spring weather can be unpredictable and may cause dangerous driving conditions. Thunderstorms, heavy rains and flooding can pose obstacles to Tennessee drivers. Being aware of the risks spring weather poses can help drivers avoid getting into an accident.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are over 5,760,000 car crashes every year. Of those crashes, approximately 22 percent are weather-related. Most people may assume that icy and snowy winter conditions would be responsible for the most weather-related accidents; however, that is not correct. Far more accidents occur because of wet pavement and during rainfall events. In fact, 73 percent of weather-related accidents are caused by wet pavement and 46 percent occur during rainfall.

When traveling in wet conditions, drivers should take care to avoid puddles as going through one may cause the car to hydroplane. Should the car begin to skid, AAA recommends avoiding slamming on the brakes and steering into the turn. It is also unwise to use cruise control in wet weather as it increases the chances of the driver losing control of the vehicle.

Potholes are another danger to drivers at the beginning of spring and can cause damage to a vehicle's tires or even throw off its alignment. Drivers should always remain aware of their surroundings, especially since more pedestrians and bicyclists may be sharing the road as the weather warms up. In addition, basic maintenance such as replacing wiper blades and making sure tires are properly inflated can go a long way toward keeping drivers safe.

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