Whether it’s rain, snow or ice, the best strategy for dealing with nasty road conditions is to stay home. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to stay off rainy, icy, or snowy roads so if you do have to drive, slow down, heighten your focus and adopt a defensive driving strategy.
Here is some info that may help you stay safe on the road in bad weather:
- About your brakes — Many people tend to slam on the brakes at the first sign of trouble. Result: The wheels may lock up causing you to lose control of your vehicle and slide into surrounding traffic. If you begin to slide and your car is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) — most late model vehicles are — gradually apply pressure to the brakes. If you don’t have ABS, pump the brakes slowly until they grab. Fight the inclination to slam on your brakes.
- About your headlights — Driving in fog and snow is dangerous and often difficult. If you have fog lights, use them. Don’t use your high beams as they may reflect moisture and may make it more difficult to see. Always use your regular headlights, and if your vision is impaired, find a safe spot and pull off the road.
- About your eyes — Precipitation may affect your focus and concentration as your eyes may become fixed on the repetitive motion of the falling rain or snow. Keep your focus on the road ahead but keep your eyes moving — check your rear and side view mirrors to keep track of what’s coming up behind you and alongside.
More space, more time
Give yourself a space cushion — room in front of you, behind you and next to you. This allows you more time to react if the car in front of you stops suddenly or if an accident occurs around you. If you are on a multiple lane highway, try to keep a lane between your car and the cars next to you.
Remember, if you’ve got a choice, opt for the safer one and stay home.