Weather is one element that has a significant effect on our driving mainly because it affects the roads so much. Whether its rain or snow or ice, the roads can sometimes transform into risky places to be in under such conditions. Needless to say, the rates of accidents on our roads shoot up during wet or snowy weather. If you can do something in advance to prepare yourself for driving in rough conditions, you can greatly improve your odds of safe travel and ensure you keep yourself and your family and friends protected.
Let us look at the different conditions we should be keen on and how we can adjust our driving in order to stay safe.
Waterlogged and Flooded Roads
When on flooded or waterlogged roads, keep the following tips in mind;
- Driving at high speeds may cause a wave splashing water onto pedestrians. In slippery corners, the vehicle may swerve out of control which may pose high risk to passengers, pedestrians as well as the driver. Due to risk of accident, always drive at moderate speed that allows you to be in complete control of the vehicle.
- Check the highest position of the road and drive on it. This is often where the water is less deep or in case where the road is not too wet, there are less puddles meaning that the tires grip better. This will help improve your control on your car and avoid skidding.
- Keep an eye out for the other drivers using the road you are on and maintain a safe distance. You will be better positioned to observe the road better and avoid any hazards that may present themselves as well as looking for the best places to drive on.
- Avoid driving through water if you don’t know how deep it is. Driving in water that is too deep may flood your car engine causing it to go off and eventually leave you stuck. It is okay to check how deep the water is by using a stick and only drive through if you are confident the car can manage. As a rule of thumb, avoid water that is as high as your car doors as they can’t keep the water from seeping into the interior.
- Check the flow of the water. If it is too strong it may sweep away your car causing risk to you and others. Although it is difficult to gauge the strength of the current, it is best to avoid any fast flowing water.
Dealing with Snow and Ice
When nights get cold or the winter strikes, the roads are left frozen and covered in ice and snow. Grip on such roads is of major concern to drivers and other road users as well. Let’s see now how to best manage such driving conditions.
- As the roads are very slippery, the first and most important thing to do is to reduce your driving speed. This will give you more control on your vehicle and will reduce the dangers that may otherwise be posed by speeding.
- Check the steepness of the road and avoid very steep sections. This is because the poor grip may result in the car sliding out of control even while applying the brakes.
- When slowing down and stopping your car, be sure to start braking early. Due to the poor grip the car may not stop immediately and this may cause a hazard to other people and property in close proximity. Breaking early means that you will be able to stop the vehicle in the right time.
- As you steer your car when driving, avoid moving or turning the steering wheel fast or suddenly as this will only result into the car swerving and skidding out of control. Make sure you steer slowly to keep the car in control.
Before embarking on a journey, it would be prudent to check the weather reports. You will be better informed on weather conditions and will have ample time to plan as well as to prepare for it. When you have been able to drive through bad weather, take time to check on your car and make sure there is no damage and in cases where some parts are not in top form, take time to fix them before the next time you set out on travel.