City police are warning motorists that as spring approaches, there will be new and different road hazards to deal with.
Sergeant Douglas Pflug said there are tips to get drivers and their cars to be safe in wet spring weather:
1. See what’s coming. Top up washer fluid and check wiper blades.
2. Check tires. Make sure tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Worn treads and low tire pressure can increase the risk of your vehicle hydroplaning on wet roads.
3. Flash headlights. Check low and high beams before heading out to see if all of the bulbs are working. If it is raining, use low beam headlights. High beams reflect water vapor (fog) and make it harder to see.
4. Check the brakes. Make sure the brakes are responsive by tapping them lightly.
5. Slow down. The road is most slippery when the first raindrops make contact with oil and grime on the pavement. To avoid hydroplaning, try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front ahead.
6. Allow extra following distance. A car needs two to ten times more distance to stop on a wet road than on dry pavement. Try to stay at least two car lengths behind the car ahead.
7. Watch for potholes. Roads freezing and thawing all winter create new and exciting holes in the pavement. Hitting a pothole can throw the front of your vehicle out of alignment, making it difficult to stop properly in wet conditions. Make sure you have the alignment and balance of your vehicle checked regularly.
8. Avoid driving through large puddles. Driving through large puddles may affect brakes, causing the car to swerve, impair the vision of other motorists, and drench innocent pedestrians.
9. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. The winter is over and both will now be more prevalent on streets and sidewalks.
10. Ice? Still? Thawing snow, spring rains or mist can cause icy conditions in early spring, especially in shaded areas, on bridges and on overpasses. Remember that those areas freeze first and keep an eye out for ice.