Spring Driving Reminders
Spring has arrived, and along with it, varying temperatures and weather patterns. These changes can cause problems for drivers. The Missouri State Highway Patrol offers these reminders for driving safely during spring:
Heavy rain can cause flooding and spring showers will certainly spawn flash flooding. Never drive through fast-moving waters; even a small amount of fast-moving water can sweep a slow-moving vehicle off the roadway. If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground. Respect barriers or barricades put in place by MoDOT. They are there to protect you; don’t go around them, it is unsafe and illegal! RSMo 229.210 states, It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle, an animal or animals or a load of any kind upon a highway bridge or culvert recently constructed or repaired wholly or partly of concrete or upon the surface of any improved highway of macadam, concrete, brick or bituminous material; and which has not been opened to traffic after the construction or repair, by order of the county highway engineer of the county in which such bridge or culvert or improved highway is situated, or by order of any other person having charge of the construction or repair of said bridge or culvert or improved highway; provided, due notice to the public has been given that the bridge or culvert or improved highway is closed to traffic, by placing barriers across the entrances to the bridge or culvert or improved highway.
Widely varying temperatures can leave roadways or bridge floors covered with frost. Even though roads appear to be clear, it is important to slow down and watch for slick areas, especially early in the morning. Temperature changes also cause fog to develop. Drivers need to slow down, turn on their headlights, and be prepared to stop in foggy conditions.
Weather conditions requiring the use of windshield wipers are usually those that affect visibility. Motorists are reminded that state law requires them to turn on their vehicle’s headlights any time they are using the windshield wipers. It only takes a second to turn on your vehicle’s headlights. But, that second could make you more visible to other drivers and prevent a traffic crash.
Drivers need to be aware of farming equipment in the spring. Tractors and other wide farm implements will be traveling down rural roads. Drivers are encouraged to be patient, slow down, and give these pieces of equipment room on the road. If you plan to pass a slow-moving farm implement, do so wisely. Never attempt to pass on hills or curves. Also, check for a “driveway” on the left before passing. A farm implement moving to the right may be preparing for a wide turn, rather than allowing you to pass.
The Patrol encourages motorists and watercraft operators to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint and everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket. Click It 4 Life and Wear It!!!