Although a snowy day can be gorgeous, or a rainy day can be relaxing, driving in inclement weather can really put you at risk for your safety. Although it is not desired to drive during bad weather, sometimes it is inevitable.
Your safety should be number one on your list of priorities when forced to drive during these times. Here are six tips to consider when driving in foul weather, and how to arrive at your destination safely.
1. Avoid All Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the main issues with all drivers on the road today. You will need undivided attention on the road when driving in all kinds of weather. Avoid trying to do other tasks during this time, like talking on the phone, texting, eating, or reading. Not only can you be cited for not having your attention on the road, but you could also seriously injure yourself or someone else. Remember to pull over when you need to put your attention elsewhere.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance
In an emergency, you need time to slam on your brakes when something appears in the road. If you are too close to the person in front of you, you run this risk of being involved in a collision. Leaving a safe distance between you and the cars in front of you can help eliminate fender benders or other serious accidents. Try to keep a safe distance of 100 yards, or a football field, if possible.
Because of wet and slippery surfaces, tyre traction decreases, and a longer stopping distance is needed. Also checking tyre pressure can be important as tyre pressure decreases in cold weather. If they are worn, this can also cause a hazard while on the road. Make sure to have them regularly checked, as most tyres need to be changed every 3-4 years. Consider purchasing something that is all-weather to help during all driving instances.
3. Check the Weather Ahead of Time
Being prepared is the best way to avoid driving in inclement and dangerous weather. Check the weather for the day, and try to avoid driving on days where the weather will be the worst. If it cannot be avoided, try to drive during times that the weather will be best.
This can also help to manage time when leaving the house. Driving in bad weather can be longer and more stressful, so planning for this time help you safely arrive on time. Being able to know what to expect on the road is the best-case scenario for driving in unpredictable weather.
4. Slow Down
In today’s environment, it seems that everyone is in a hurry. When the weather is foul and unpredictable, this is the time to drive slowly, and arrive alive. Try to drive as slow as possible, and keep a better eye on those driving around you. A good rule of thumb is to drive 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit when the weather is not ideal.
Be prepared to go slower if the weather continues to prove that speeds are still too dangerous. If you are driving slower, this gives you more time to react in an emergency situation.
5. Stay and Maintain Your Lane
When it snows, rains, or gets foggy, it is important to stay in and maintain your lane. Switching lanes during these times can become very dangerous. Try to maintain your lane so that you may easily keep track of the other vehicles around you. As visibility gets low, it is harder to recognize other vehicles or potential hazards around you. Staying in your lane can keep others around you safe.
6. Check Your Windshield Wipers
During foul weather, you need to ensure that you can see the road in front of you clearly. Nothing is more dangerous than trying to use your windshield wipers, only to learn that they are not functioning properly. Windshield wipers should be changed every six months, or sooner if defects appear before that. Keep an eye on your windshield wipers, and if they start to squeak, skip, smear, or not make contact with the windshield, then have them replaced. Also, make sure that you are full and topped off with the right amount of windshield washer. Keeping the windshield as clear as possible can help visibility. Needing to see hazards is important to be safe during dangerous times.
It is important to use these six tips to drive safely in foul weather. Following these tips can be a factor of whether or not you arrive safely after your journey. Protecting yourself and those around you during times of bad weather will make the roads a safer place. Doing your part is important for being a responsible individual on the road when the weather is not the best.