Living in the Midwest takes a certain skill when it comes to driving in the seasons. Sometimes, it feels like we’re getting all four seasons in one day, and other times, it feels like one season lingers forever. 

In this blog, we’ll share some tips on driving in each season. 

Winter driving

Driving in the winter can be intimidating for any driver. You never know when you’ll be faced with sleet, ice, or snow and all the factors associated with those winter challenges. Make sure you are extra cautious when driving in the winter. 

Start by checking your tires before you leave. You’re likely going to have reduced tire pressure because of the impact cold snaps have on your tires. Many people dismiss their tire warning light because they think it’s just the winter. It may be, but you should be sure to check to avoid major damage to your tire and rim. 

Make sure you’re also checking your windshield wipers. You’re probably going to have mounds of ice or snow on your windshield when you come out of hibernation. Many people turn on their wipers to let them do the work. Ice and the weight of the snow could damage your wiper blades, so instead, use your defrost, ice scraper, and time before you take off.

Be careful when you’re driving in the winter. Intersections are usually slick, and bridges freeze before roads. Give yourself plenty of time to slow down, drive carefully, and arrive at your destination safely. 

Spring driving

You may think winter poses the only driving hazards, but there are a few to be aware of in the spring too. 

Besides the potential for tornadoes and surprising winter weather that pops up in spring, there are two major safety concerns in the spring: rain and potholes. 

Rain can wreak havoc on your driving conditions. You can be faced with torrential downpours that make it difficult to see when you’re driving. You can also be faced with flooding or flash flooding that make it difficult to travel on safely. 

Potholes can also cause a lot of damage and make driving frustrating. Potholes are inevitable in the Midwest because we need the heavy salt trucks in the winter. We can’t always avoid potholes, but we can try. 

We also need to be aware of our surroundings. Road crews will be out in the spring more than in the winter. Remember to slow down in construction areas but also slow down when it’s raining or you’re facing potholes in the spring.

Summer driving

In the Midwest, summer driving means putting the windows down, turning the radio up, and cruising around with a smile on your face. But it can also mean trouble especially with the Midwestern heat and tornadoes.

To prepare for summer driving, make sure you’ve completed a thorough vehicle check before you leave home. Check your tires and coolant levels. When you arrive at your destination, make sure you don’t leave anything in your vehicle. 

Make sure you have a spare tire. In the summer, you might blow a tire from the heat. You might also get stuck in traffic. If that happens, shut off your A/C to avoid overheating your vehicle.

Keep your eyes and ears open for tornadoes. If you know one is coming, try to get home or to a shelter quickly and safely, but if it’s too late, abandon your car on the side of the road and “seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.”

Fall driving

Driving in the fall is breathtaking. The colors of the leaves and skies are beautiful. But there are hazards to be aware of in the fall. 

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of driving fatalities. What’s more distracting than a Midwest sunset and fall leaves? It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and your distractions in the fall as well. 

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, driving in the Midwest safely means seasonal awareness. Stay alert!

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