How to Drive Safely in Bad Weather: Tips for Avoiding Accidents
Driving in bad weather can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. Whether it’s rain, snow, or fog, driving in bad weather requires extra caution and attention to detail. In this blog post, we’ll explore some practical tips and strategies for driving safely in bad weather.
Read on to learn how to drive safely even in bad weather.
Look at the Forecast
Before you head out on the road, make sure to check the weather forecast. Knowing what type of weather to expect can help you prepare and adjust your driving accordingly. If the forecast calls for heavy rain or snow, consider postponing your trip if possible.
Also, when you know ahead of time how the forecast will be, you can plan accordingly because driving in bad weather will always take you longer.
Check Your Vehicle’s Condition
Making sure your vehicle is in good condition is crucial for safe driving in bad weather. You want to make sure that car safety is your top priority. Check your tires to make sure they have adequate tread and are properly inflated.
Check your windshield wipers to make sure they are in good condition and can effectively clear rain or snow. It is best to replace your wipers every six months or at a minimum once per year. You can also take the extra step and apply a water repellant on your windshield for extra protection.
Also, make sure your headlights, taillights, and brake lights are working properly.
Slowing down is one of the most important things you can do when driving in bad weather. This gives you more time to react to any unexpected situations that may arise.
It’s also important to remember that it takes longer to stop in bad weather conditions, so give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It is best if you double your normal space when you are driving in snow, sleet, or rain because braking time is much slower in these conditions.
Use Your Headlights
Using your headlights is critical when driving in bad weather. This not only helps you see the road ahead but also helps other drivers see you. In heavy rain or snow, use your low-beam headlights to improve visibility. If you have fog lights, use them when driving in foggy conditions.
Do Not Use Cruise Control
It is best not to use cruise control in inclement weather because it can be dangerous. It can cause you to lose control of your vehicle if you hit a patch of ice or encounter unexpected road conditions. Instead, maintain control of your vehicle by driving manually.
Stay Focused and Alert
Staying alert and focused is crucial when driving in bad weather. Keep your eyes on the road and avoid any distractions, such as using your phone or eating. Make sure to take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
You always want to be prepared in case of an emergency. Keep a basic emergency kit in your vehicle, including a flashlight, blankets, food, water, and a first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to keep a charged phone with you in case you need to call for help.
If you ever notice a road that is completely flooded, do not drive on it – turn around. You might not realize that it only takes 12 inches of rushing water to carry away the average car. Trucks and SUVs can be carried away by only two feet of rushing water.
Driving into a road that has water rushing into it while flooding it out can unfortunately lead to flood-related drowning.
Driving in High Winds
If you are driving and suddenly you find yourself in a really windy condition, the first thing you need to do is slow down. Speeding to try to get out of the windy conditions as fast as possible is not a good idea and can backfire. If the wind is pushing your vehicle from behind, it can cause your vehicle to accelerate and it can cause you to lose control.
When the wind is blowing on the side of your car, it can cause you to steer onto another lane or the oncoming lane if it’s a two-way road. The biggest tip when driving in super windy conditions is to slow down.
Driving in Snow
The last thing anyone wants to do is spin out of control while driving on a snowy road. Because it is difficult to see while it is snowing you want to keep at least a 10 second following distance because you don’t have traction when you are driving through snow. If you are too close, you won’t have enough time to brake safely without hitting the car in front of you.
You will also have to slow down when you are driving through snowy conditions. When you are turning or taking a curve, you want to brake before the turn not during the turn. If you brake during the turn, it is going to increase the chances of you spinning out.
Braking before the turn and slightly accelerating while you’re turning is going to help shift some weight from the front of your car to the back which will allow you to maintain a bit of traction without spinning out. If you do spin out, you need to take your foot off the gas and the brake and just let your car roll while you steer in the direction of where you want your vehicle to go and eventually the car will gain traction again.
Ready to Avoid These Mistakes Like the Plague?
As you probably know driving in bad weather can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. By following our tips and strategies, you can help ensure that you and your passengers arrive at your destination safely.
Remember to slow down, use your headlights, stay alert and focused, be prepared for emergencies, and turn around if you need to in order to avoid any regrets.