Last Updated on March 8, 2024

The spring season brings longer days and warmer weather, making it a good time to get out for driving practice. However, driving safely in spring can bring some unique challenges on the road that you may not have faced if you are a new learner driver. We are going to go through 5 tips for driving in spring to help you to stay safe on the roads. 
These tips will cover: 
-Being prepared for the unexpected 
Spring driving car maintenance 
-Being aware of cyclists 
-Watching out for pedestrians 
-Looking out for uneven road surfaces  

Being prepared for spring showers 

Even though spring is a time for warmer weather, it can be unpredictable and bring spring showers. You could set out on a journey with clear skies and sunshine and halfway through your journey you may be faced with rain. 
It is a good idea to get driving practice in different weather conditions so you can feel more confident driving when you do pass your driving test. However, you need to make sure that you know how to stay safe when you are navigating different weather conditions. 

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Tips for driving safely in spring rain: 

-Keep back from the vehicle in front of you. Stopping distances will be increased so you need more space so you can fully stop if needed. 
-Use headlights if your visibility is reduced. 
-If steering becomes unresponsive, water may be preventing tyres from gripping. Ease off on the accelerator and slow down gradually. 
Read up on the Highway code 226 for more information. 
Make sure that you feel prepared to drive in the rain, even on those clear bright days. Make sure that your windscreen wipers are working correctly, and the wiper fluid is filled up, just in case!  

Spring driving car maintenance  

Once the cold winter is over, your car could probably use some TLC to get it back to being shiny and clean, ready for the spring driving. 
Over the winter, salt, dirt and debris may build up on your car. This can lead to rust and damage to your car. Clear all of this off your car and wheels to avoid damage and make your car shiny for spring!  

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Make sure you clean your car windows as glare from the sun can reflect on dirt and make it hard to see. While you are there check your windscreen wipers for any cracks or signs of wear and to see if they are cleaning effectively. If there are any issues buy new ones to replace the old to be ready for the spring showers. 

Check over the wheels and make sure there are no cuts or bulges and that the tyre tread is the right depth (at least 1.6mm). If there is damage, get your tyres replaced. If there is no damage you should still check that they are inflated to the correct pressure. 
Check the car fluids, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid and wiper fluids and fill if needed. Also check over the lights on the car to see if any bulbs need to be replaced. 

Be aware of cyclists 

You may see more cyclists out on the road enjoying the spring weather. By law cyclists must be on the roads and not on pavements so you need to be considerate to cyclists just as you would for other cars on the road. 
When there are cyclists on the road you must leave a safe distance. In the Highway Code, the rules 211-213 are all about driving safely near cyclists and motorcyclists. 

You may have reduced visibility of cyclists when they are behind other cars. When exiting a junction make sure you give yourself enough time in case there are any cyclists that you cannot see. 
Leave extra space for cyclists as they may need to move to avoid uneven road surfaces or obstacles. Take care if you need to overtake cyclists and leave more space, especially at night or in bad weather conditions.  

Watch out for pedestrians 

With warmer weather comes more people out and about, so you need to stay alert.  
Pedestrians may be out and about more often with the sun coming out. This can make streets busier and cause more potential hazards. In areas where there are more pedestrians, take your time and be aware of what is going on around you using your hazard perception skills!  Highway code rules 205-210 give guidance on pedestrians. 

There may be more unexpected activities going on around you so pay attention. It can be easy for people to cross the roads between cars or for children or animals to run out into the road. Stay attentive and slow down in pedestrian dense areas. 
Also, be patient, it can be easy to feel frustrated when people are not paying attention and causing issues when you are driving. However, as a driver you need to be paying attention and making sure that everyone is safe. To avoid potential feelings of frustration, leave more time for your journey. This means if there are more situations where you need to stop, you will not be late or try to rush. Which will help keep you and other people on the roads safe. 

Look out for uneven road surfaces 

Another consideration is potholes on the road. The harsh weather in winter may cause extra damage to the road surface from freezing. With an average of around six pot holes per mile it is good to stay aware! 

So, after the ice has cleared you need to be aware of potholes on the road. If you drive through potholes, you risk causing damage to your car which can lead to costly repairs. 
Make sure you are looking ahead and avoiding potholes when it is safe for you to do so. Keep firm hold of your steering wheel as potholes could affect your car steering.  Keep your wheels in good condition and not over or under inflated. 
If you are driving in the dark or in rain where you vision may be obscured, make sure to use your headlights and keep an eye out for potholes in the road. 

If there are significant potholes, you can report them to your local council.  

Conclusion: Staying safe when driving in spring

Spring brings the promise of warmer weather and new adventures, but it also presents unique challenges for drivers, especially those new to the road. Follow these essential tips, to navigate the spring season with confidence and ensure the safety of yourself and others: 

Be prepared for unexpected weather: Spring showers can appear quickly, reducing visibility and requiring adjusted driving behaviours. 

Prioritise spring vehicle maintenance: Check your car for any winter-related wear and tear, ensuring smooth and safe operation. 

Share the road responsibly: Be mindful of cyclists, pedestrians, and increased activity – leave ample space and anticipate potential hazards. 

Look out for uneven road surfaces: Be aware of potholes caused by winter weather and avoid them safely when possible. 

Maintain focus and adapt your driving: Stay alert, adjust your speed for the conditions, and prioritise defensive driving practices. 

Remember, safety is paramount. As you gain experience and confidence behind the wheel, enjoy the beauty of spring while remaining a responsible and cautious driver.