Spring is in full swing in North Texas. Longer days and warmer weather are a welcome change, but this season brings a number of new hazards to the road that drivers need to recognize. Here are some things to consider so that you and other drivers around you remain safe.
Over the course of winter, potholes are created that can damage your vehicle and cause accidents in the spring. Not only can a pothole damage a vehicle’s shocks and suspension, but it can also cause a driver to lose control of their car. Motorcyclists are at a greater risk for serious or fatal injuries due to potholes.
- Sun Glare
Blinding sunlight is a contributing factor in numerous auto accidents. A good pair of polarized sunglasses will help minimize the effects of sun glare. Adjusting your route and drive time could significantly reduce your chance for an accident, as well as utilizing your sun visors and driving more slowly and carefully.
- Increased Motorcycle and Bicycle Traffic
Two-wheeled vehicles increase activity in spring. Motorcyclists and bicyclists have the same rights as other vehicles, so drivers need to keep a watchful eye and remember the rules for sharing the road.
- School’s Out
When school is out for summer, kids are usually running or biking around their neighborhoods. Drivers need to use extreme caution in residential areas. Children can dart into the roads without warning, and they don’t stand a chance against a 3,000-pound vehicle. Late spring and summer are also the times when less experienced teen drivers are on the road more often.
- A Rise in Wildlife Activity
The increase in wildlife activity during spring, especially during the dawn and dusk hours, means that drivers need to pay special attention to wildlife crossing signs and movement at the side of the road.
- Frequent Rainstorms
April showers bring May flowers, but spring’s pop-up storms make roadways more dangerous. Drivers need to make sure they turn on their wipers and headlights, slow down, and keep a safe distance between their car and other drivers. Remember, if the rain is so intense that it’s difficult to see, pull over until the storm passes.
The Best Defense
April is National Car Care Month, which makes it a good time to get your vehicle ready for those summer road trips. Basic maintenance goes a long way toward improving the safety and dependability of your car, plus it helps avoid costly repairs down the road. Follow this simple checklist to make certain your automobile is in tip-top shape!
- Inspect and Maintain Tires
To avoid a blowout, rotate your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check the PSI regularly and pay attention to tire recalls. Brad Parker says, “It’s imperative that you are driving on a good set of tires. When you notice the tread is getting worn, spend the extra money to get a quality set. Don’t by cheap retreads or used tires.”
- Change the Oil
Car owners should check their oil each month and change it as directed in the car’s owner manual. For the best long-term results, drivers should research to find out which type of motor oil is best for their vehicle.
- Check the Fluids
To keep your car running properly, a mechanic should check the following at least once a year: engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluid.
- Replace Windshield Wipers
“With the frequent storms during spring, it’s important to have properly functioning windshield wipers for front and/or back window. If visibility is diminished while driving, you are a danger to others and yourself,” Brad says.
- Check Your Brakes
If you are driving and hear brake noise, consult a service center as soon as possible. Brake pads and rotors wear gradually over time and require regular inspection. To avoid a serious accident, drivers must make sure their brake system is performing at an optimum level.
- Test the Lights
Headlights are key safety features on your vehicle. Regularly clean the lenses and replace bulbs as they begin to dim. Quickly replace any bulbs that may have burned out.
- Check Belts and Hoses
If certain belts break while driving, they can cause many of a car’s systems to fail. Keeping belts and hoses in good shape could help you avoid a breakdown on the road.
- Change Your Air Filter
An air filter should be inspected once a year and replaced as needed. A dirty engine air filter allows dirt particles into a car's engine and reduces its efficiency.
- Don’t Ignore the Check Engine Light
If the check engine light goes on, take your car to a trained technician to diagnose the problem. By scheduling regular tune-ups, drivers will ensure that their cars get other maintenance items repaired as needed.
- Review Your Policy
By reviewing your car insurance policy from time to time, you will be aware of your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles and make sure they are suitable for your driving needs. We offer free policy reviews all the time to friends, family, and both past and current clients. If you would like for us to take a look at your policy to make sure your coverages are suitable for you, give us a call at 817-440-3888 or fill out our contact form!
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.