Driving as the Weather Warms
Important Reminders to Keep You Safe
Spring is here! Oh, wait, no back to winter. Now here comes the sun! Whoops, winter still. Montana in March is a rollercoaster of weather where we get a glimpse of spring before plunging right back into winter. But soon things will warm up, and we will get into our spring. The month of April is usually warmer, wetter, with just a couple of days of snow and ice.
As the spring brings us new growth, it also brings out some new driving conditions. In an effort to stay safe, we have put together the top X driving tips so you don’t end up getting in a wreck, or hurting someone else on the road!
It’s Pothole Season
One of the biggest worries this time of year: potholes. In the spring, roads deteriorate a lot more than they do during other seasons. The reason is simple: water and ice. Throughout most of the year we don’t have a thaw and freeze cycle like we do in the spring. Warm days melt snow or drop some rain, and cold nights freeze that moisture. When the water seeps into the cracks in the road, and freezes, it expands breaking apart the pavement. As vehicles drive over the now broken asphalt, it breaks loose and a hole is formed.
Science lesson over. Be alert for potholes that can cause massive damage to your vehicle, or even cause a wreck.
Animals are on the Prowl
Bears awaken. Turtles come out. Groundhogs return. Not only do the hibernating animals (whether true hibernators or not) come back to the daylight, animals that have been out all winter long get a little more active. When food sources are plentiful, and the days are not yet hot, there will be more animal activity.
Keep an eye out for critters on the roadway. This is especially true at dusk and dawn.
Share the Road!
Clear roads, bright sun, warm weather, the two-wheelers are back out enjoying the wind in their face. Motorcycles are harder to see than vehicles, so until the snow flies again next fall, keep an extra eye out for them.
Not only motorcycles, but three wheelers, people on ATV’s, and bicyclists all get to share the road with cars and trucks. Whether you love ‘em, or hate ‘em, you’d feel really bad if you cause injury to any of them.
Pedestrians have Returned
Taking a nice stroll after dinner is one of the best ways to wind down from the day, and to keep your body fit. There are those that walk, jog, run, or otherwise skip and prance around the block at all hours of the day. It’s easier to stay out when your toes aren’t freezing off.
While pedestrians are supposed to stay on the sidewalks and cross at designated crosswalks, many do not. Pay attention to those who choose to walk, especially younger ones that may not have developed the sense to stay out of the road.
Ice is Still an Issue
Throughout March and April, we still have the risk of freezing weather. As we approach May, that risk declines, and generally speaking after the first week of May we are pretty safe from the fear of frost. Until then, however, ice can still be a problem and cause wrecks.
Pay extra attention in the mornings when the sun hasn’t warmed the earth yet. If it looks wet, it could be frozen.
Mud is Slippery
Spring showers dampen the earth. It’s great for the plants and animals that rely on rain for their water, but it’s not much fun for those of us that are driving around (unless you’re specifically out mud-bogging, in which case, it is fun). The issue: mud can be as slippery as ice.
Whether it’s on the road, or on the shoulder when you’re pulling over, pay attention when there is dirt and mud present so you don’t end up stuck.
Collision Repair in Billings, Montana
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we pride ourselves on having more certifications than any other shop. But what does that mean for you?
It means that no matter what you drive, we have gone through the training to know exactly how your vehicle needs to be repaired. The manufacturers have given Big Sky Collision Center their stamp of approval. The end result is that you get your vehicle fixed to full factory safety standards. If you’re in need of collision repair here in Billings, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we will get you scheduled.