Have you ever been driving on a perfect day and a sneaky storm appears out of nowhere? Weather can change without warning, which is why it’s important to prepare yourself for driving on all types of road surfaces and in all types of conditions. The best advice is to check the weather ahead of time and avoid driving if there is a chance of snow, ice, heavy fog or rain. But, if you’re already on the road, here are some tips to get you to your destination safely.
- Slow down! Stopping takes longer on slippery roads so increase your following distance.
- If your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on. While you’re at it, turn your defroster on too.
- If you start gliding or hydroplaning, take your foot off the gas and slowly press the brake, making sure not to turn the steering wheel. Also, watch for other gliding cars and give those drivers plenty of room to correct themselves.
- Flash floods can strike without warning and before signs can be posted and roads can be closed. If you see running or standing water over the road, avoid it and find a higher route.
- Drive in the path of the vehicle in front of you. Their tires help melt snow and push water out of the way, giving you a cleaner and safer path to drive.
- Be aware that bridges and overpasses ice first. Again – slow down!
- Trucks and SUVs are not weatherproof. In fact, the heavier weight means it will take longer to stop than a smaller vehicle.
The more driving experience you have in all conditions will prepare you for future situations. Ask your parents for help and drive together so they can provide instructions and help you spot dangers. And, if you find yourself in a scary situation or have problems seeing the road, find a safe place to pull over, listen to a local AM weather station and wait it out if you can.
Read more about braking distance and bad weather driving.