Spring Driving Tips

Dated: 19 Mar, 2024

As we leave the Winter months and begin to head into Spring, different hazards will be present when out on the roads. The warming weather may reduce ice and snow on the roads, but it also brings more dangers to look for.

Vulnerable Road Users

Cyclists and motorcyclists will be venturing out more as the weather warms.  Every motorist has to practice good vision techniques and stay focused on their driving to spot these vulnerable road users.  Being aware of and respecting these vulnerable road users is an important part of safe motoring.

Children the (hopefully) rising temperatures will cause them to come out of hiding and run free.  Slow down and pay very careful attention in residential and school zones, especially where the speed limit is set at 20 mph.  Schoolkids are easily distracted and don’t always pay much attention to traffic.  Always be alert.

Pedestrians. Due to the rising temperatures and better weather, (fingers crossed) naturally more and more people will be outside. When you are driving you need to observe, anticipate and plan your actions based on your environment. People can be unpredictable and you need to be alert and ready for this.

Animals. Animals as they come out of their long winter hibernation, they will be on the move as they forage for food.  Being prepared for this can help prevent animal deaths and damage to your vehicle.  Slow down in rural areas or where animal traffic is high. Also, due to the improved weather expect to see more horse riders on the roads. Horses can be easily panicked and disturbed if you pass without due care, and this could lead to multiple dangerous scenarios for the Horse, the rider, yourself and nearby road users. As the Highway Code states, "when you see a horse on a road, you should slow down to a maximum of 10 mph. Be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine. When safe to do so, pass wide and slow, allowing at least 2 metres of space."


Pollen Count. Pollen and the ensuing hay fever can be overwhelming and frustrating for some people.  Streaming eyes, incessant sneezing and a permanently runny nose are not conducive to being an observant driver.  Take care to keep up to date with your local pollen counts and medicate accordingly (always check guidance for driving). 

Spring Showers. As we all know, the only predictable thing about the UK's weather - is that it is unpredictable. One common theme though would be the Spring showers that we get. Rainfall can lead to many added hazards, such as increased stopping distances, less control, possible aquaplanning and reduced visibility. Ensure your tyres are legal, that you double your separation distance in rainfall and that your wipers are in working order.

Sunlight. Although the sun may not be as low as it is during Winter, the times that the sun's light becomes a hazard fall more in line with typical commuting times. This can lead to difficulty seeing through your windscreen and can also affect the view in your mirrors. Always take care when your visibility is affected, particularly when manoeuvring and changing lanes, whilst your wing mirrors are affected by sunlight. Also, ensure your windscreen is clean and you have screen wash to ensure that any marks or smudges on your windscreen are removed before the sun shining on them reduces your visibility. Furthermore, the sun mixed with the already hazardous rain, can lead to difficulty seeing due to the glare this can cause on the road. Again, take care when driving. Choose a speed appropriate for the conditions and for your visibility.

Top Tips

To keep yourself and others safe in Spring, make sure that:

  • You keep your screen wash topped up.
  • Your wipers are in working order.
  • You remain alert for vulnerable road users.
  • Your tyre pressures are inflated to the recommended level.
  • Your tyre tread depths are at least to the legal limit (1.6mm).
  • Increase your following distance in rainy weather.
  • Keep your windscreen and mirrors clean.
  • If you suffer from hayfever, medicate as required and make sure to read the packaging to see if you can drive whilst taking the medication.
  • You observe, anticipate and plan. People can be unpredictable, so keep it steady and take the time to read your surrounding environment.

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