Driving safely is always important, but it’s an especially pressing matter when the road or weather conditions are less than ideal. We’ve come up with a list of tips to help you navigate the roads no matter what the season!
Weather Condition: Snow and Ice
Driving in snowy and icy conditions is notoriously dangerous, so your priority should be accident prevention.
- Have snow tires put on your car.
- Maintain lots of space between you and the car in front of you.
- Give yourself plenty of room and plenty of time to brake.
- Keep your eyes on the cars next to you in case they slide around or veer out of their lanes.
- Make sure you clean the snow off the top of you car completely. This might seem obvious but there are far too many drivers who give in to laziness and only bother cleaning the front and rear windows. By not cleaning the top of your car, you risk obstructing the view of the drivers behind you should snow or ice blow off block their visibility.
- You don’t need to warm you car up in cold weather before driving, but do go easy for the first 5-15 minutes on the road to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the engine.
- Always be prepared for black ice and drive slowly enough that you’re able to react safely.
Weather Condition: Rain
Rain is one of the most universally difficult driving conditions for people on the road and can seriously. Similar to driving in the snow, the key to driving safely is being mindful of the other vehicles around you.
- Slow down. You should always be driving slower in rainy conditions than you would in dry weather.
- Be aware of what the cars are doing and be prepared to react to any potential skidding or sudden braking.
- Give yourself ample time to brake at lights so you don’t skid.
- Go easy when making turns.
- If you can’t see where you’re going/aren’t sure you’ll be able to drive safely, pull over until the rain lessens.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly before you leave.
Weather Condition: Sun
It might sound counter-intuitive, but there are still safety precautions you need to take when driving under clear blue skies – especially when you find yourself unexpectedly blinded by the sunlight coming in through your windshield.
- Always keep a pair of sunglasses in your car
- Make sure your sun visor is blocking the light without also blocking your view
- Plan ahead if you’re anxious about – know when the sun is going to be at its brightest/where in the sky it will be to prevent it from shining into your eyes so you can plan your route accordingly.
- If you can, avoid being on the roads when you know the sun is likely to pose a problem to your vision and visibility.
- Wear sunscreen! People forget about the sun shining directly on their skin for hours at a time when in the car. You can still get a sunburn/put yourself at risk for other kinds of sun damage.
Weather Condition: Fog
There’s nothing eerier than driving through thick fog. Just like with any other weather condition that significantly affects your ability to see properly, you need to be extra cautious to ensure you’re driving safely.
- Always be aware of the cars behind you and ensure that they can see you. This includes pumping the brakes before entering a particularly thick patch of fog so they know where you are.
- Be wary when approaching a hill and drive slowly to avoid hitting any cars that might be ahead of you that are hidden by the fog
- Turn on your fog lights! They’re yellow rather than white and help you see better in foggy conditions than your traditional headlights.
There are also some general driving tips you should always be aware of:
- Be prepared. On any given day, you should ensure you’re prepared to deal with whatever misfortunes might come your way. Whether it’s a flat tire, bad brakes, engine troubles, or an accident, make sure you know what to do to ensure you keep driving safely.
- Make sure there is nothing obstructing your view (rearview window or front window).
- Have an emergency kit in the trunk with a blanket, candles, water bottles, and some non perishable food.
- Make sure your cellphone is charged so you can make a call if you’re stuck in an emergency.