Tomorrow is the first day of spring, but looking out the window in Ohio, many will see snow falling onto ice-covered roadways.
Our office has reminded drivers of defensive driving throughout the winter season, and as the climate changes soon, we will begin to remind drivers to drive defensively in a different way.
Once the spring weather arrives, Ohioans will no longer deal with snow and ice on their morning commute, but there will still be other distractions. Neighborhoods and bike trails will be overwhelmed with people.
There will be families on bike rides, runners on the road, and kids playing outside. Drivers have to be aware of these distractions and constantly watch for pedestrians and bikers.
Bike Trail Dangers
There are numerous bike trails in our area, some on the side of the road and some separate. For those that are on the side of the road, drivers have to be especially careful. Although there is space for the biker, you can never be sure that they will stay within the lines. Whether there is an object forcing them onto the roadway, or the biker runs over something causing the bike to crash, these can all cause serious accidents with vehicles. When you see a biker on the roadway, be extra careful and give ample room between both of you.
Many runners choose to get their miles in by running on roads in the surrounding area. Many of these runners do not go on sidewalks but instead run on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic. As a driver, it is important to be aware of this in neighborhoods and suburbs as they may be overwhelmed soon.
Many runners also choose to run in the morning hours when the sun is not always up. This can make it very difficult for a driver to see them. Although runners are urged to wear reflective clothing, drivers still must be defensive to ensure safety.
Children Playing Outside
In the spring afternoons, children will be happy to enjoy their time outside enjoying the weather, instead of cooped up like they have been all winter. Not all children are as aware of their surroundings as they should be. They often play in groups too, making them more focused on the friends they are with than their surroundings.
If you are driving, especially in neighborhoods and suburbs, be aware of the children playing. Although traffic safety is taught in school and through various safety programs, we cannot ensure that all children know every precaution to take. To ensure no accidents occur, practice defensive driving.
Be aware of all of the distractions that warm weather brings. From running to rollerblading, the streets will be filled with activity soon.
Be very cautious.