Potholes and other spring driving hazards!!!

image of people filling potholes

Well, the clocks have been set ahead and spring is just days away. It’s easy to believe that risky winter driving conditions are nearly over and smooth sailing lies ahead. That’s only if you haven’t yet experienced the frost heaves and potholes plaguing our roads and highways. These hazards are caused when water gets into cracks in the roadways and then repeatedly freezes and thaws. The main source of that water, other than the rain, is the snow melt and run off. All of these underlying conditions pose unique road conditions and a necessity to adjust our driving skills accordingly.

Fog:
A perfect recipe for fog is fluctuating temperatures, standing snowpack, and rainy weather. Be aware that fog can form quickly and vary in it’s density and coverage. The main thing to do is SLOW DOWN because your visibility and therefore reaction time will be greatly diminished. It is often common to come upon slow moving or stranded vehicles in dense fog. Keep your headlights on low and use your four way flashers if necessary.

Standing Water:
With the heavy rain and rising temperatures storm drains can be either filled to capacity or clogged and cause water to pool and sometimes freeze on roadways. Please allow plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you because these hazards are often hard to see and become apparent with very little notice. Standing water can cause vehicles to quickly lose traction and hydroplane out of control so maintain plenty of space. To prevent hydroplaining make sure your tires have adequate tread depth and while you are at it, make sure your wiper blades are in good working order. Water can not only be thrown from the vehicle you are following but is often thrown with such force from oncoming traffic that it can momentarily blind your vision of the roadway.

Potholes:
The best thing you can do to avoid potholes and similar unknown and unsuspected hazards is to SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Watch the flow of traffic and expect vehicles to occasionally veer into your lane of travel. Make mental notes as to where to potholes are on your daily commute. Potholes are often fixed only to deteriorate and reform on the very same day. Use extra caution when approaching puddles being mindful that a pothole could be underneath. The State and the municipalities try to be very diligent about patching potholes and similar problems but they can only do that if they know about them. A quick call to the appropriate town office or the nearest DOT facility about the location of a pothole could save another driver from suffering a lot of damage or possibly an injury.