When driving in bad weather, it is important to be aware of the dangers and take precautions to ensure your safety. Drivers should understand the risks associated with driving in adverse conditions and take the necessary steps to ensure their safety. Besides, they should know weather is dynamic and ever-changing, so they should expect different patterns depending on location. Here are seven important safety tips to keep in mind when driving in bad weather:
1. Increase Following Distance
It takes longer to stop in poor visibility and slick conditions. Make sure to increase your following distance to have enough time to brake if necessary. Tailgating is never a good idea, but it’s dangerous in adverse weather conditions. Your vehicle might respond swiftly, but the front car might not. On the other hand, the car in front might splash water or mud on your windshield, making it hard to see.
2. Use Low Beams
Ensure your headlights and taillights are on so that other drivers can see you. You should also use your fog lights if driving in heavy fog. High beams reflect off the water droplets in the air, making it hard to see. Low beams will light up the road without reflecting back at you. Remember to dim the lights when you see an oncoming car to avoid dazzling the driver.
3. Take It Slow
The first rule of driving in bad weather is to go slow to help you stay in control of your car and avoid accidents. The car might skid and lose control if you go too fast. Furthermore, heavy rainfall can cause hydroplaning, making your tires lose contact with the road because of driving in high gear. It can make you lose focus, so it is important to take it slow in these conditions.
4. Ensure the Vehicle Is in Good Shape
Bad weather can be tough on vehicles. Before heading out in winter weather, ensure the car is in good working order. It means checking the battery, antifreeze levels, brakes, and tires. If the vehicle isn’t in good shape, it’s more likely to have problems in bad weather.
5. Apply Top-Notch Defensive Driving Skills
It’ll help you manage the car if it hits a patch of ice or slush. Individuals who drive using one hand during bad weather conditions have less steering control if they hit a slippery section of the roadway. Additionally, two hands on the wheel will help you brace yourself if the car starts to slide.
Don’t pump your brakes because this can cause the wheels to lock, and avoid slamming on the brakes because the car might skid. Instead, apply the brakes gently to prevent hydroplaning. It’s advisable to avoid cruise control when driving in the rain as well because it can make the car misbehave when it hits a wet spot on the roadway.
If you get into an accident by bad luck, avoid getting out of the car if possible. If you must get out, do so carefully to avoid oncoming traffic. Inform the police as soon as possible and a lawyer if necessary. For example, you may want to collaborate with a Houston personal injury law firm if you live in the city and get injured in an accident. They will help you get the right compensation and avoid the other party taking advantage of your innocence.
6. Prepare for Anything
Bad weather could deteriorate quickly and result in some dangerous conditions. For example, a storm with high winds might cause debris to fly around, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Also, prepare for flash floods when driving in heavy rains. If you see a large puddle in the road, it’s best to avoid driving through it. Remember, approximately two feet of water levels can sweep a car away.
7. Be Extra Cautious at Intersections
Intersections are hazardous in bad weather because they are often slick and decrease visibility. Be extra cautious when approaching and proceeding through intersections. Most drivers involved in weather-related collisions enter an intersection on a green light but fail to yield the right of way. In addition, take extra care when merging onto a road with speeding traffic.
When driving in bad weather, it is vital to be extra cautious. By following these seven safety tips, you can help ensure that you and your passengers arrive at your destination safely. Discipline is the key to being a good driver, no matter the conditions. Never underestimate the power of nature, and always remain prepared for the worst. That way, you can avoid accidents or mishaps on the road.