It is no secret that hazardous weather, of all kinds, can cause complications for even the best drivers. Although we can’t control the weather itself, there are many things a driver can control to avoid any injuries during inclement weather conditions. Below are a number of beneficial tips you can use to maintain the safety of yourself and other drivers.
- Ensure your fog lights are on: These lights are located low on your vehicle and have a yellow wide beam pointed toward the ground to reduce glare, helping you to have better vision of the road.
- Use your brakes before entering a fog: This will signal trailing drivers to provide space as you slowly proceed through the fog.
Thunder & Lightning Conditions
- STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE: Vehicles are a very secure place to be during thunderstorms, especially if parked.
- Do not remain under trees: Trees often can be struck by lightning and in turn fall onto your vehicle.
Rainy and Flooded Conditions
- Decelerate 5-10 miles below the speed limit: Increased speeds can promote hydroplaning. This is when your vehicle lifts of the ground and rides on a layer of water instead. If hydroplaning, reduce your speed until your vehicle returns to normal.
- Avoid driving into flooded areas: Water limits our ability to perceive depth, allowing deep bodies of water to often appear shallow. If you do drive into a flooded area, you risk water entering your air intake valve and then your engine, causing your vehicle to eventually shut off.
- Navigate to higher ground if possible.
- Lightly apply the brakes after you’ve exited a puddle: The heat and friction generated by this will influence your brakes to dry sooner.
- Use emergency flashers if needed: This will ensure that other drivers can see your vehicle.
Snowy and Icy Conditions
- Slow down to a speed that feels the safest: Driving in snow and ice can be tricky almost all the time because it is hard for your vehicle to maintain traction in these conditions. The slower you drive, the better the chances of your vehicle keeping traction.
- BEWARE OF BLACK ICE: The conditions are prone to appear on bridges, in the shadows of tall buildings, and at intersections. It’s almost impossible to spot this dangerous condition so remember to begin slowing down well before coming to an intersection or bridge.
- Do not tailgate: Brakes do not operate to their full potential in icy conditions. Tailgating could cause you to rear end a driver in the event that they make a sudden stop.
- Do not brake during a turn: Remember to slowly initiate a turn while lightly applying the brakes before the curve. Then let the car cruise through the turn without applying gas or brake, so the vehicle speed remains unchanged. This will help you keep your vehicle from spinning out.
- Steer into a skid: In the event that your car loses traction and begins to skid, immediately remove your feet from the gas and brake. Next, steer the car into the direction it is sliding to cancel out the skid. This allows the car to correct and straighten.
Remember – a vehicle is only as safe as its driver! Avoid distractions, keep your eye on the road, and follow the simple tips above. If you become the victim of an auto accident due to a distracted or unsafe driver, call the Law Offices of Goss and Fentress. Our personal injury attorney is here to help.