When the weather changes, anything from rain to fog to snow can affect visibility, how your vehicle handles and the risks for a potential accident. Sometimes, a little extra caution is all that’s needed to make sure you get to where you’re going safely.
Here’s a driving tips in bad weather conditions, and things you can do to make driving safer that can prevent an auto accident during these storms.
- Turn your headlights on anytime you need to turn your windshield wipers on in rain, fog, sleet, freezing rain, or snow. It will help your visibility and also help other drivers see you.
- In winter, keep an ice scraper with a brush in your car in case it snows or sleets. Also check that you have wiper fluid/deicer in your car. If it gets messy while you are out, these will come in handy.
- Double the space you normally leave between you and the next car. You’ll need more space to stop on slick roads.
- Brake gently
- Make sure your exhaust tail pipe is clear if you’ve had to dig your car out of snow or ice or if you’ve backed into a snow bank. If your tail pipe is blocked you could get sick or die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When driving on slippery surfaces like ice or snow use gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when starting. If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.
- Check that windshield washer works-you may need it in snow and sleet.
- Watch out for severe weather warnings before you drive. If a strong storm come on while you’re on the road and it’s raining too hard to see, try to find a safe place to pull over until the worst of the rain is over. If you see a tornado coming your way, safety experts suggest you find shelter or if that’s not possible, then get out of car and find a ditch to take cover in, protecting your head and neck. It’s hard to outrun a tornado.
- Braking in bad weather can be tricky. When braking on wet roads:
- If you have ABS (anti-lock) brakes, do not pump brakes
- If you skid with non ABS brakes and your wheels lock up, let up on the brakes to unlock the wheels, then brake gently.
- Listen to radio traffic reports and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
- Keep windows and windshield clear. Make sure wipers are working.
- Leave a window open a little bit to keep windshield from fogging up and to give you fresh air.
- Watch for danger spots ahead. You’ve probably heard that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the roads do.
- When starting out in bad weather, test your brakes to see how far it takes you to stop.
- If you are stuck in ice or snow, try putting your floor mats under the edge of the tires to give them traction