Playing It Safe On The Road: Bad Weather Driving Tips

January 12, 2012

As the winter season approaches and temperatures drop, safe driving becomes a top priority, as motorists take precaution against unexpected road conditions. Ice and snow covered roads become more common and snow or rain storms may pop up unexpectedly during a long drive. Keeping your safety in mind, here are a few tips on how to be a safe driver during bad weather:

  • Keep a slow and steady speed and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. It is recommended that you allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you; this way, if you have to stop suddenly you can avoid any accidents.
  • When the roads seem slick, break gently rather than pressing down once on your breaks. To slow yourself down to a full stop, tap on your breaks numerous times until you come to a full stop. This warns other drivers that you are taking precaution and also prevents you from skidding on slippery roads.
  • Be cautious of black ice, which is a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that can form on the pavement. Just because the road doesn’t look slippery doesn’t mean it isn’t.
  • Even if it is daytime, turn on your lights. This increases visibility for yourself and other drivers and could help you see any upcoming dangers in the road.
  • Keep distractions at a minimum. With today’s smartphones, it’s easy to pass the time at a red light by texting or using an application. No matter if your car is stopped or not, you should always be paying attention to the road around you. Even when stopped, bad weather conditions may cause another car to skid, and you should be prepared to avoid a collision at all times.
  • Always be prepared! Get clear directions to your destination and make sure that you have enough gas to get there. Running out of gas while driving in a storm can cause your car to stall which is potential for a crash or can leave you stranded during dangerous weather. Also, keep winter weather tools in your trunk such as an ice scraper and always keep your windshield wipers in good shape, making sure your car is filled up on wiper fluid and that the blades wipe away as they should.

As we know, you can’t predict the weather and storms can really put a damper on your driving route. Keeping these driving tips in mind will help make sure that you arrive at your destination safe and sound.