Defensive Driving Tips for Bad Weather Conditions

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Bad weather happens everywhere. There’s no getting around it. For licensed drivers, it can be a nightmare. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the luxury of staying home or calling in sick every time the weather is bad. It’s just something drivers have to learn to do, whether they like it or not.

Becoming a better driver doesn’t happen overnight. Only getting out and doing it helps, but sometimes more is needed. Learning some defensive driving just may save a person’s life when a driver gets behind the wheel. Here are some tips that will help drivers survive torrential downpours and snowstorms.

Stop Skidding on Wet Pavement before it Starts

Weather.com provides some excellent tips when driving on a snow-covered or wet pavement, such as slow down gradually. Don’t slam on the brakes. Tap the brakes gently to get a feel for the road. If it feels slippery, then be careful. Most skids happen when a driver turns too fast or tries to stop suddenly on a wet pavement.

If being careful doesn’t help and the driver still finds himself skidding on the pavement, follow these steps to steer out of it:

  • Take the foot off the accelerator.
  • Turn the front wheels in the direction the car is supposed to go.
  • The car might skid in the opposite direction.
  • Turn the wheels back in the right direction and then straighten them to bring the car under control.

Practice Driving in the Rain to Become a Better Driver

According to Edmunds.com, the first half hour of rain is when the roads are most slippery. This is due to oil dropped from passing cars that has not had the time to wash away yet. Oil deposits may be extremely heavy at intersections. The best defense here is to slow down and allow at least twice the normal following distance.

Brakes can become wet after driving through deep water or puddles. Test them gently before applying them. Slow down until the brakes are working properly again.

Hydroplaning is when the driver loses control of the vehicle because the tires ride on top of the water. This is caused by the tires being worn or low or by driving too fast.

If a Car Crash Happens, Be Prepared

Some drivers panic when involved in a crash. They don’t know what to do because they aren’t thinking clearly. Calm down. Here are some things to do if an accident does happen:

  • Stop and remain at the scene.
  • Check to see if anyone is injured. If they are, seek medical help immediately.
  • If possible, get off the roadway.
  • Call the police and file an accident report.
  • Exchange names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, registration, and insurance information from all other drivers involved.
  • Never leave the scene of an accident or it could result in a fine and/or jail time.

Being a Good Driver Means Following the Rules

The best drivers are those that follow the laws and slow down in bad weather. Don’t get distracted. Keep your eyes focused on the road. Remember, no matter how good a driver is, they need to watch out for other drivers.

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