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With spring comes automobile crashes

When the sun passes the equator and begins its northerly trek, as the days get longer and the nights get warmer, the thoughts of most Pennsylvanians are as one: Get back on the roads and start driving.

This means more accidents and injuries on the roads. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says that in 2017, more than 24 percent of auto accidents occur in the months of April, May and June, with nearly 26 percent of auto fatalities.

Tips for driving in the spring

Although good driving tips are applicable year-round, there are some that are spring-specific. These include:

Slow down for those spring showers – Oil and grease that has accumulated on the road all winter can rise to the top of spring shower runoff and cause your car to skid. Slow down and let your tire traction do their job.

Watch out for potholes – The freeze-thaw cycle causes road materials to expand and contract, creating potholes. Running over potholes at speed can cause damaged rims, punctured tires, damaged suspension and poor alignment.

Animal activity is on the increase – Animals are out and looking for food after the long winter. They don’t pay attention to road rules, so you need to look out for them.

Pedestrians are more active too – People want to get out and enjoy the weather, meaning you will encounter more on the roads. Pay attention at crosswalks, slow down in the neighborhood and give pedestrians and bicyclists the right-of-way.

Be aware of motorcycles – Dry roads means motorcycles can come out of their winter storage. Keep an eye out for motorcycles on the roadway and remember to maintain a safe following distance.

Maintain tire pressure – Cold temperatures cause tires to underinflate; warm temperatures cause tires to overinflate. Check your tire pressure to they can achieve their maximum effectiveness.

Watch for construction zones – Spring is the time that road crews take to the streets, so slow down when you see them, make safe lane changes and follow traffic signs.

If the spring brings an auto accident to you or someone you love, contact an experienced, qualified attorney to represent you and help you work with medical providers, insurance adjustors and employers.