The ice is melting and turning to slush, and that rare Minnesotan sunshine is becoming just a little more common—in other words, spring has come to the Midwest! No matter how old or young you are, it’s common to get wrapped up in the feelings the new warmth brings, those of potential and possibility. It’s time to get outside, try new things, and drive to places you’ve never been before.
Indeed, just because it’s natural to get a bit of spring fever, that’s no reason to forget that driving safely is crucial to keeping you and your passengers alive and well. And just because there’s no threat of ice now that the roads have warmed doesn’t mean there aren’t hazards you, as a class B CDL holder or otherwise, need to watch out for. If anything, spring driving presents its own unique list of potential pitfalls that require a whole new skill set to manage. As someone who operates a motorized vehicle, it’s your duty to review these hazards before hitting the road this season. Make the roads a safer place not only for you but for your passengers and other drivers as well.
American Student Transportation, as a provider of student transportation services and group transportation services, knows safety like the back of our hands, as evidenced by our extensive training, long history, and countless satisfied customers. Drivers that work for us know how to safely navigate Minnesotan streets, no matter the weather and no matter the road conditions—and they do it with time pressure and in a large vehicle carrying precious cargo to boot! When it comes to school bus contractors, you won’t find anyone safer.
However, just because we know safety doesn’t mean that other drivers can skimp on it, hence this blog post. The roads are a community space, and we all have a responsibility to share this space. We’ll discuss below what all drivers, not just those who work in school bus services, should be aware of when it comes to safe and courteous spring driving.
Driving Slowly and with Caution is Okay!
Though we all can get frustrated with drivers who go below the speed limit, if you happen to fall into the camp that regularly does so, that’s okay! In fact, that’s great. As a school bus contractor, we appreciate drivers who take the time to navigate the roads cautiously and with great respect for the law. It’s what we strive to do each and every day on the job, and perhaps you could find employment as a school bus driver with us. We offer paid training, so come see what we’re all about.
However, if you don’t fall into that camp all the time, that’s okay, too. Getting where you need to efficiently and in a timely manner is important. However, you must keep in mind that spring weather and clearer roads give you no excuse to practice unsafe driving. In fact, as we’ve stated above, springtime comes with its fair share of unique hazards, which includes:
● Families spending time outside | As the weather warms, Minnesotans seem to engage in a mass exodus from their homes to enjoy those rare beams of the sun. Though you might be able to cruise along the highway as normal, you’ll need to slow down and keep your head up in suburban and urban areas, especially if you aren’t familiar with the locations of the area’s crosswalks. Going under the speed limit, especially in school zones, is always appreciated by pedestrians everywhere. Remember that this group tends to (but not always) have the right-of-way.
● Potholes | There’s a reason springtime can also be referred to as pothole season! As the snow melts, potholes caused by water erosion can quickly become visible. Hitting a pothole head-on can make you cringe, of course, but under certain circumstances, they could send the right vehicle out of control. The good news is that potholes tend to come in packs and on bumpy, poorly-maintained roads, so you’ll have a good deal of heads-up to slow down before you smack into one. Swerving to avoid large potholes is also advisable, so long as you do so gradually and legally, and do not put your passengers or other cars in danger.
● Wild animal families | Springtime is when countless animal species have their babies. It can be common in certain areas to find groups of animals crossing the road where singular creatures used to be the norm. While driving, many Minnesotans know to watch for deer in groups come springtime to prevent unfortunate collisions, but raccoons and black bears also raise broods as the weather warms, so keep an eye out for those species, as well. As a rule of thumb, it’s safe to assume that where there’s one animal crossing the road, there usually are more.
Are You In Need of Safe Group Transportation Services? American Student Transportation is Here to Provide
Our Blaine office would be thrilled to provide safe travel for your religious group, school, party, or another event! Give us a call now at 651-621-8900.