It’s been springtime in Colorado for over a month now and this weather has us singing all sorts of happy songs—“I Can See Clearly Now, the Snow Is Gone,” “Bye Bye 30 (Degrees)”—but we are, by no means, out of the woods when it comes to sometimes-tedious driving conditions.
Here are a few things you should look out for as you’re cruising around our sunny state this spring ...
1. April Showers (The Extended Edition)
Contrary to the poem, April showers tend to continue beyond April in Colorado. This means that the roads are still going to be very slippery, even if the snow has subsided (and there is no evidence to say that it will before June).
Take the same precautions that you would with snowy and icy roads by making sure your windshield is smooth and clear, paying attention to your driving and the road, and keeping your speed low enough to avoid hydroplaning and losing control of the car.
In addition, stiff, cracked, or otherwise useless wiper blades should be replaced immediately and you should run a check to make sure all of your lights are working properly. A clear windshield in the middle of a downpour is of the utmost importance!
2. Beware the Hail
There is a reason that many of our cars exteriors end up taking on the appearance of a golf ball, and that reason is hail. Make sure you pay regular attention to the weather forecast because once it starts, the only thing to do is wait it out. Do not run outside of your shelter in a hail storm. Do not. If your home has a garage or some kind of covered parking, move it ahead of time.
If you are driving and accosted by a hail storm, find a safe place along the side of the road to pull over and make sure everyone in the car is turned away from the windows and is shielding their faces. Do not exit the car or continue driving until it has let up again.
Damage to windshields and other auto glass is common in these situations, so be sure that you get any chips, cracks, or breaks fixed immediately!
3. Beware the Potholes
Doesn’t it often seem like there are way more potholes in spring than any other season?
That’s because there are.
Cracks and pits in the road can happen regardless of the season, but once winter rolls around, all of the moisture that freezes in them pushes them further apart, thus creating potholes that are later revealed in spring.
4. Watch Out For Wildlife
One of the obvious upsides to spring in Colorado is that the temperature is warmer and everybody is out to enjoy the nice weather! However, that also means that there are more people, cycles, and animals to watch out for as you drive.
Remember that phone calls and text messages can wait until you reach your destination, and if they can’t wait, find a safe spot to pull over and continue driving when you have finished your conversation. Focus on safe driving because there isn’t a text, phone call, email, or app that is worth jeopardizing your life or somebody else’s.
5. Get Your Allergies Under Control
Ah, allergies … ah-CHOO!
Seasonal allergies are extremely common in Colorado, and it’s important to understand how they can affect your driving. All of that free-floating pollen in the air can lead to runny eyes and noses, coughing sneezing … the works! These can make visibility while driving a challenge, to say the least.
Luckily, allergy medications can greatly alleviate those symptoms. Still, as with all new medications, make sure you are aware of all of their effects before getting behind the wheel. Some allergy medications can cause drowsiness and that’s one of the last things you’ll want when you’re trying to pay attention to the road. If driving is just not safe on your allergy meds, consider taking public transportation or carpooling for awhile until the side effects subside or allergy season has passed!
Now, get out there and enjoy that sunshine!
From all of us at Quick-Set, drive safely out there!