February 28, 2020
15 Spring/Summer Road Safety Tips to Avoid Car Accidents
Contrary to popular belief, road mishaps are just as common in summer and spring as they are in the wintertime when the road is smothered in ice and snow. More car accidents are reported to occur during spring and summer — not winter.
As the thaw approaches, be prepared and review the basic driving safety tips to prevent any car accidents in Toronto. With utmost care and planning, you’ll remain safe while driving amid warmer weather and avoid the expenses of unexpected repairs.
1. Remove distractions.
Texting while driving exposes drivers to a high risk of accidents. According to USA Today, the use of mobile phones causes 1 in 4 road accidents while text messaging increases the risk of a crash by 23 times. Fix your eyes on the road and avoid whipping out your phone while driving.
2. Be mindful of children on the streets.
The bright and sunny weather (as well as the change to Daylight Savings Time) makes people want to be out and about, especially children. Expect that more children will take advantage of the better weather to play on the streets during rush hour and in the late afternoon. Watch out for children playing ball or riding their bikes.
3. Be aware of motorcyclists.
Months of driving in cold weather can make Toronto drivers a little less used to motorcycles plying the road. Some motorcyclists may speed off past drivers and “mushroom” out of nowhere. Pay attention to them; watch your mirrors and be careful of your blind spots, especially when changing lanes to avoid motorcycle accidents.
4. Share the road with cyclists.
The lovely spring weather is also a great time for cyclists to be out on the road. When you’re about to make a stop, turn, or proceed, make sure to check your rear-view mirror to see if there’s a cyclist approaching. Allow them plenty of room when passing on the road. When on a busy intersection, try to slow down to make way for a cyclist who may be turning left in front of you.
5. Anticipate runners.
Springtime energizes runners. It’s the best time to lace up their shoes and prepare for an upcoming marathon. When on the road, they may be using earplugs and blasting off some running tunes, so they may be less aware of your presence. Watch out for their path and try to slow down while anticipating where they’re going.
6. Be wary of wildlife
The shift to sunny weather rouses animals from their hibernation, encouraging domesticated animals to return to their normal activities. There are animals that are awake and active during the dusk and dawn. Be alert of their presence to prevent collision with an animal, as they may be roaming around the city streets.
7. Wait until it’s time to change your winter tires.
Winter tires provide extra grip when driving in wet and cold conditions. Spring season can bring all sorts of temperatures (sometimes including below freezing levels). You could use the heavy-duty performance of your winter tires during such conditions, particularly when it’s below 7°C outside. Wait a little while before switching back to your all-season tires.
8. Allot extra time for driving
While winter may be officially over, the tail-end of March and the first few days of April can bring a cold front. This can cause a freeze-thaw cycle that can affect road conditions. To prepare for the changing weather, it may be best to add an extra hour or two head start on your trip to keep you from rushing to your destination.
9. Beware of potholes.
Potholes may be present on city streets and expressways as a result of winter conditions, so watch out for them during your commute. If you spot these hazards along the way, report them online or call 311 right away. The local government aims to repair these damages within four days after the report. Take note of potholes and inform the local government about it to prevent other cars from sustaining damage.
(Note: For cars damaged by potholes on a Toronto street, drivers can make a property damage or personal injury claim. For more details, check out Toronto.ca or contact a local car accidents lawyer).
10. Watch out for gravel shoulders.
Melting snow and winter runoff can soften gravel shoulders in spring. It helps to slow down and steer gently to a shoulder in case you have to pull over. Also, beware of gullies caused by water runoff.
11. Slow down in road construction and closure zones.
Some road repairs or constructions are done during spring or summer. Slow down when passing through a road work to ensure the safety or workers. It’s always best to travel with caution to avoid an accident with another vehicle or a construction aide. Anticipate road closures so you can save on travel time and avoid the hassle.
12. Plan your route ahead of time.
Before leaving home, check with Google Maps and plan the best route to take that will get you to your destination without traffic bottlenecks. The app gives you essential information for faster travel like current road conditions, slowdowns, construction zones on Toronto roads, and possible accidents. Google Maps also suggests alternative routes for when your usual route is closed due to repair, construction or a standstill.
13. Tune up your vehicle.
Winters in Toronto can slow down the performance of vehicles. The snow, cold temperatures, salt, and road grit can wear out any vehicle at an increased rate. Before taking it for long drives, check your car’s brakes, fluid levels, and wiper blades to ensure they’re in top shape. A lot of garages offer spring tuning services for vehicles if you don’t know how to do this on your own.
Most importantly, check your vehicle for salt accumulation. Salt can be harsh on vehicles (especially older ones); it can accelerate rusting. Inspect your vehicle for rust spots. If you spot traces of rust, have your vehicle repaired immediately to keep the rust from spreading.
14. Lighten your load.
During a road trip, you’ll probably throw in pounds of gear, baggage, and passengers beyond your vehicle’s load capacity, which can take a toll on its handling and fuel economy. Make sure to avoid exceeding your car’s payload capacity when packing for a trip. Check your manual to know the allowable weight of cargo and passengers that your vehicle can carry. Leave room for an emergency road safety kit.
15. Buckle up for storms.
Spring and summer seasons aren’t all about flowers in bloom, they can also mean unexpected showers and wet pavements which can pose dangers to driving. Heavy downpours can make road signs, traffic signals, and pedestrians harder to see. Practice using your headlights during rainy days even in the daytime. Slow down in densely populated areas and observe ample distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Don’t let the bright, sunny, and warm days bring your guard down. Take extra care and precaution when you’re behind the wheel and eliminate distractions. Accidents may be lurking in the background wherever you’re headed; it pays to be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
If you find yourself in a pedestrian or vehicle collision accident in the spring or summer, get in touch with a professional car accident lawyer in Toronto. They can help you manoeuvre through these situations with ease and convenience. Michelle Linka Law is only a call away. With a breadth of experience in handling car accident settlements and dealing with personal injury claims, we can help you get the compensation you need. Contact (416) 477-7288 to book a FREE consultation.