Driving in Bad Weather Winter is upon us and more drivers are having to take to the roads during inclement weather conditions. Conditions will vary this season from mild to severe and roads will become increasingly treacherous as the weather gets worse. It is important for you to know how to handle your car on the road during this type of weather. Whether you’re dealing with torrential rain, freezing rain, ice, or snow, there are some rules that apply across the board. By taking the time to educate yourself on how to drive safely in bad weather, you are protecting yourself and the other drivers on the road.
Be Prepared The first and most vital step for driving in bad weather is making sure that your vehicle is prepped and ready to handle the worst of your local weather conditions. Commercial and interstate drivers who operate fleet vehicles have to know what gear they need for each region as weather patterns will differ for each place. Take your vehicle to be serviced and ‘winterized.’ If you operate a fleet, you can work with fleet management services to help you get your fleet ready. Know what equipment and emergency supplies you need to have in each vehicle so that you have chains for tires or an ice scraper when needed. Preparation is always the first and best way to make sure that you are ready for winter driving.
Getting On the Road Once your vehicle is stocked and ready to brave the winter roads there are a few things you need to do every time you get in your vehicle. Visibility is vital to your safety and the safety of the other drivers on the road. If you are in an area with heavy snow, clean your car off every time. Make sure that your headlights, license plates, and all your windows are clear, visible, and de-fogged. It is much easier to see a red car against the white snow than a snow covered car against the snow. Driving with fogged up windows can lead to disastrous results. Be patient and allow your car to defrost before you go.
Be Cautious and Alert While you may be the picture of perfection when it comes to driving in bad weather, you cannot account for the other drivers on the road. It is also impossible to anticipate everything as you go. To be safe you want to remember that space and time are key.
Make sure that when on the road, you leave plenty of space between you and other drivers. Donâ€™t be in a hurry. Speeding cars and bad conditions cause more accidents than anything else, and keep in mind that speeding in bad weather may mean that you are going too fast even if you are 15 mph below the speed limit. Giving yourself the space you need on the road allows you the time to slow down carefully if it is required. If you find yourself slipping or sliding donâ€™t panic. Stay calm and react as you need to, working to stay relaxed and alert. No matter the conditions, following these rules will help you avoid accidents and stay safe on the road during bad weather, and remember, sometimes the best option is to stay off the road. Photo Credit: Farm3