In Ocala, we are blessed to have a lot of snowbirds come down during the winter months. A lot of these snowbirds have driven to Florida numerous times, but for some, living and driving in Florida is a new experience.
Though we don’t have snow here in Florida, (that is, unless we get a freak winter storm that blows down to our region) but there are some driving tips you should know about. Here are five things snowbirds need to know about driving in Florida:
If you’ve never seen a love bug, they’re rather cute insects. They don’t bite like the mosquitoes, fleas, or ticks do. In fact, they are pretty harmless. They fly paired up and move slowly. The big hazard, however, is that they love to commit buggy suicide on your car. These love bugs are highly acidic, so when they go splat on your car’s paint job, you would be wise to wash your car soon after. Otherwise, their acidic bodies will eat away at your car’s paint, and that’s not fun.
There are a lot of small towns throughout Florida that have police officers looking to catch you speeding. Waldo, Florida, which is near Gainesville, is famous for being a well-known speed trap. But hey, how can we blame them? If a small town doesn’t have much of a tax base to draw revenue from, then speeding tickets is a smart way to fill the town coffers. Mind your speed and stick to the limit if you want to avoid a ticket.
Many years ago, the only toll roads we saw were across bridges. But today, toll roads are common throughout Florida -- especially around Orlando. We can blame toll roads on the Yankees, but that doesn’t help us much. To get around toll roads, you have other street options. But to save time, you may want to sign up for a SunPass. Otherwise, you may need to carry around a stash of coins in your car to toss at the toll meter.
Endangered and nocturnal animals.
In Florida, there are lots of critters that walk around at nighttime, and they can be a road hazard. From Florida Panthers and Key Deer to opossums, armadillos, and alligators, there are a variety of animals you want to avoid. In Ocala, we have a lot of horse farms, too. Unfortunately, there is a sad occasion when someone’s cow, horse, or dog gets loose and gets hit by a car. No one wants to strike an animal with their car, so be extra careful while driving around Florida, especially at night.
Speaking of being careful, we have a lot of elderly drivers in this state. You may be one of them. They may drive slowly for a variety of reasons. They could be driving slowly while hauling a horse trailer filled with precious cargo. They could be lost and looking for road signs. They often become more timid behind the wheel as they age, so we encourage you to slow down a bit and show our elderly drivers some respect. After all, we all have a 100% chance of getting old someday. Patience is a virtue, so try to refrain from honking your horn out of impatience when you are surrounded by drivers with more grey hair than you.
If you are ever traveling through Florida on vacation or coming down here to stay awhile, we welcome you to our beautiful Sunshine State. When you are in Ocala, we invite you to stop by for a visit here at Pals Ocala Auto Repair. At lunchtime, we often fire up the grill and cook enough hamburgers or hot dogs to share. It’s part of our Southern Hospitality and we love getting to know our customers.
For preventive maintenance service or repairs, schedule an appointment at Pals Ocala Auto Repair. We are conveniently located at 2821 SW College Road, Ocala, FL, 34474. Our team of auto mechanics looks forward to taking great care of you and your vehicle.