Grand Rapids, MI (Vocus) February 13, 2010
Even though winter’s half over, you can’t be any less diligent with your safety on the road. Since a few flurries and freezing temperatures can create hazardous road conditions and winter storms can happen late into March, we still have weeks to contend with icy conditions. As the winter season begins its transition to spring, the cycle of thaw and refreeze creates additional damage through potholes and temporarily impassable roads.
Be Careful When Surfaces are Slick
Here are three must do items while driving when roads are slippery.
1. Reduce your speed. Most winter crashes are caused by excessive speeds for the road and weather conditions.
2. Leave extra space between vehicles. In perfect weather, you should have at least one car length between vehicles for every ten miles per hour you are driving. In inclement weather, stopping and following distances are increased.
3. Allow extra time. Don’t compromise your safety by driving fast, leave a little earlier to get to your destination on time.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
The seasonal freeze-thaw cycle at the end of winter can create more problems on the road. Water from rain and snow melt during the day can seep under road surfaces and freeze during the night, leaving a hole under the asphalt when the water melts. Cars continue to drive on the road, causing the asphalt layer to collapse, creating potholes.
While sometimes you can’t avoid potholes, here are four steps you can take:
1. Watch the traffic around you. If everyone is making an unexpected detour, they may be swerving to avoid a pothole.
2. Make mental notes during your commute. Knowing where you drive will help you avoid absentmindedly running over potholes.
3. Pay attention to your tires. Maintaining tire pressure will help prevent your wheels and tires from being damaged.
4. Check with your Department of Transportation. Some state Web sites have a "report-a-pothole" feature that helps identify possible problem roads.
The transition to spring can create bigger problems on rural roads. When the ground thaws, it can become so soft that unpaved roads become temporarily impassable. Make sure you heed the warning of any signs signaling impassable roads ahead.
Potholes can also form in places where the air temperature rarely falls below freezing. Rain can wash away the foundation under roadways causing the asphalt layer to collapse.
Foremost Insurance wants to help you make sure you are safe wherever you are driving. For more information about winter weather safety and the Foremost DISTINCTCHOICE® Auto insurance program, visit our Web site at Foremost.com, our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/foremostinsurance or our Twitter page at http://www.twitter.com/foremost.
Foremost Insurance Group is a single source for personal property and casualty and commercial insurance. A member of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies® Foremost has been a leader in the insurance industry since 1952. Foremost is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. To learn more, visit Foremost.com.