Spring is a wonderful time in Vancouver. The cherry blossoms are plentiful, the sun is making its way through the clouds, and the temperatures are starting to heat up for summer. If you can get through the seasonal allergies that plague many Vancouverites this time of year, it can be full of outdoor activities. That being said, this city is no stranger to rainy springs, and when combined with falling leaves, flowers, and other debris, it can create quite a hazard for drivers. This is very common in fall but is prevalent in spring as well. To stay on the road and out of our auto body shop in Vancouver, here’s what you need to know about driving on wet leaves:
How Leaves Pose a Threat
When leaves fall from the trees, they coat our roadways and sidewalks, leaving us with some slippery slopes to navigate. If you’ve ever driven across Lions Gate Bridge, you’re no stranger to the beautiful slew of colourful trees that encompass the area. However, in fall and spring, these lovely leaves dot our pathways and when combined with rain, they can be slick to drive over. Especially if you’re operating on a windy road or have abrupt turns ahead of you. Additionally, blankets of leaves can hide dangers on the road, such as potholes and other obstacles. They can also keep traffic indications that are painted on the pavement from view, such as crosswalks.
Wet Leaves Are Comparable to Driving on Ice
Winter driving can be a headache, mainly for the slick ice that paints our roads annually. Unfortunately, it’s said that driving over wet leaves is like driving over ice. That means spring and fall driving needs to be approached with the same level of caution as winter driving does – and hopefully that’s a lot!
Why? Because like ice, leaves hold a layer of water on their surface. And your tires have a tougher time stopping when in contact with water, making skidding a very real possibility. So, should your vehicle lose traction when driving over wet leaves, take your foot off the gas and do not slam on the brakes. Hard braking only increases the skid of your vehicle, increasing your chances of having to visit our auto body shop in Vancouver. Point your wheels in the direction you want your car to go, adjusting your steering as your car straightens out.
5 Tips to Keep You Safe
1. Slow Down
When you come across leaf-covered roads, gradually decrease your speed. These conditions call for a below-the-speed-limit approach, as wet conditions can bring hazardous, black ice-like conditions.
2. Increase Distance Between Cars
Leave two or more car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. Wet leaves don’t allow for the same level of traction as dry conditions do. So should you need to come to a sudden stop, your time to react is limited.
3. Don’t Slam on the Brakes
We touched on this before but it’s worth repeating. Instinct may have you reaching for the brake pedal; however, this can lead to your car spinning out of control even further. Take your foot off the gas, steer in the direction you want to go, and practice gradual braking.
4. Check Your Tires
Your tires are your main line of defense when in contact with wet leaves. Keep an eye on your tire pressure as cold temperatures can cause your pressure to decrease – even just overnight. It’s also important to check the depth of your tires’ tread often. Balding tires serve little to no purpose when faced with wet leaves. For optimal performance, check your tires regularly and replace if needed. Good tires are worth the investment – trust us. Your safety is all that matters.
5. Check Your Brakes
Your brakes and tires work in harmony with one another. It’s a good idea to have your brake pads and rotors checked routinely to ensure they’re in working shape to keep you safe on the roads.
Consult Our Auto Body Shop in Vancouver
We hope these tips keep you safe on the road. However, should you be involved in a collision, our auto body shop in Vancouver can revert your vehicle to its pre-collision condition. Offering top-tier auto body repairs, we have the team, experience, and facilities to get the job done right. Contact our auto body shop today!