Safety Tips for Driving in Inclement Weather
Safety professionals encourage drivers to learn about safety tips when heavy wind, rain, or snow is occurring. Any form of inclement weather significantly increases the risk of a dangerous situation. Severe weather requires undivided attention from drivers, and staying off of the road completely is most strongly suggested.
While driving in poor weather conditions, remember the following tactics:
Keep a firm grip on the wheel: Keeping both hands on the wheel in case heavy wind occurs, especially if towing a trailer or driving an SUV. Firmly gripping the wheel offers a driver more control, especially if hydroplaning occurs.
Take your time: Driving at a slower speed than normal is the best way to avoid hydroplaning. When it first begins to rain, this is the most dangerous time to drive, because roadway oils create slick conditions. Prepare to give yourself time, instead of rushing to your destination.
Turn your lights on: To promote visibility for other drivers on the road, turn your headlights on. Many states requires headlights during the rain, even during the day time.
Be prepared: In the case of an emergency, ensure special items are in your car. These items include comfortable clothing, a flashlight, food and water, a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tire chains and traction mats. Always maintain a half tank of gas when weather is inclement.
Brake and accelerate lightly: Avoid driving forcefully through poor weather. When slowing down, lightly pump breaks to avoid locking breaks and spinning uncontrollably. If your vehicle has an Anti-Lock Breaking System, push and hold the break down as far as possible in an emergency.
Give other vehicles more space: Leave more room between your vehicle and other vehicles, giving yourself and other drivers a few extra seconds to react to potentially influential weather conditions.
Obey all road signs: Although drivers should always obey the rules of the road, road signs become even more important during poor weather conditions.
It is recommended to avoid driving altogether during poor weather. However, if you must drive through poor weather, remember to keep a firm grip on the wheel, take your time, turn headlights on, be prepared, break and accelerate lightly, give other vehicles more space, and obey all road signs.
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