It is always a relief when the weather finally starts to warm up and all the snow on the roads finally begins to melt, but it can also cause a lot of potential driving problems. If you are not aware of these issues, you could be injured in an accident or face other frustrations on the road. Here is a guide to four of the most common driving hazards caused by melting snow.
Many animals hibernate in the winter so they link the melting of snow with a change in their behavior. Awake and alert for the first time in months, they start foraging for food. The end of winter signifies that their seasonal supply is gone, so they need to go find more. Plus, animals are like humans in that they oftentimes wake up hungry.
Any road where you see animal crossing signs is that much more dangerous at these times. You’ve just spent several months getting used to the idea that the signs serve little purpose since you haven’t seen many animals lately. Then, the snow begins to melt, and they’re suddenly everywhere. If you’re not careful, you’ll have a car wreck that injures an innocent animal. It’ll also likely do quite a bit of damage to your car.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Humans also change their behavior when the snow melts. After feeling trapped inside for several months, it is human nature to want to spend more time outside. That means people will relish the great outdoors in all forms. Exponentially more pedestrians will walk to various locations than during the winter. They’ll also take their bikes out of the garage and speed down primary roads.
You’ll need to show more alertness while driving once the weather turns. Otherwise, you won’t notice that a person is walking or biking nearby until it’s too late.
New Pot Holes
The other way the weather impacts roads is through degradation. All the snow experienced during the winter undercuts the stability of manufactured roads. The water from precipitation sneaks through the cracks in pavement caused by the natural wear and tear of traffic. Once below the surface, the water freezes again during inclement weather. This expands the material beyond its natural state.
The result is that the pavement breaks in damaged spots. If you’re not careful, you’ll ruin a tire driving through potholes. That’s not even the worst problem, either. You might spin out of control and crash into another car.
Slick and Slushy Roads
The most obvious hazard caused by melting snow is dangerous road conditions. Driving on slick and/or slushy roads is treacherous, even for cars that are appropriately winterized. You must drive slower than normal to maintain control of your car. Otherwise, you’ll wind up hydroplaning, an odd condition wherein your car drives on water rather than pavement. You’ll have no control over your vehicle when this occurs.
Given the above, it’s readily apparent that melting snow is a serious hazard. You’ll want to attack the problem proactively to avoid the four dangers listed above. The best way to do so is by hiring a qualified professional snow removal service such as General Services Corporation to clear the area round your home. For a modest fee, they’ll safeguard your vehicle and your person against changing weather conditions.