How to Drive Safely in Various Weather Conditions
During National Traffic Safety Month, Gold Success Driving School wants to talk about the different kinds of weather and how dangerous they can be. Here’s how to operate a vehicle safely in every situation.
Did you know that driving is most hazardous when the weather is warm and sunny? Approximately 80% of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers take place in good weather. Because drivers are more likely to speed on pleasant sunny days, more incidents and crashes occur during fair weather. On bright, sunny days, be aware of solar glare because it can temporarily impair your vision while you’re driving.
Low illumination and Night:
You may have trouble seeing clearly while driving at dusk as your eyes become used to the reduced contrast. Shadows could hide other cars or things close by. At night, you can only see as far ahead as your car’s headlights let you.
Make sure not to overdrive your headlights if you want to drive safely at night (driving faster than your sight distance). When in doubt, slow down and keep an eye out for any potential roadblocks, such as animals or other drivers.
Safety from Wind:
A strong wind may cause your car to veer off the road or into the path of another car. Wind gusts with a high center of gravity tend to have a greater impact on moving vehicles.
The best course of action when encountering wind gusts that push or wobble your car is to tighten your hold on the steering wheel and slow down. Keep a space clear on all sides of your car in case you need to deviate from the route. coast through the heavy gust.
Smoke and Fog Element:
Slow down and low-beam or your low-beam headlights as soon as you see fog (you can use fog lights low-beam with low-beam headlights to boost slow-beam).
Use low-beam headlights instead of high-beam headlights since high-beam headlights will reflect back at you due to the abundant moisture in the air. Pull over to a safe spot off the road if the fog is so dense you can’t see clearly. Fog should be treated similarly to smog, an air pollution-induced blend of smoke and fog.
High Water and Rain:
Roads may be slicker than usual during the first 10-15 minutes of rain as precipitation loosens accumulated oil and low-beam on your low-beam headlights and adjusts the speed of your windshield wipers. To prevent colliding with other vehicles, extend your following and stopping distances. To adapt to the shifting road conditions, proceed with caution and slow down. Pull off the road in a safe area if it is raining so heavily that you are unable to see, and wait for the weather to clear.
Do not drive through high water if you come across it. Your vehicle might be damaged by even shallow high water. When it’s safe to do so, reverse your car and look for another route to your destination.
When there is a lot of water on the road, your car could hydroplane. This happens when your car drives on top of the water and loses contact with the road. When you notice other vehicles making water splashes, it’s a good sign that hydroplaning could happen. When frosted tires, follow the tire prints that the car in front of you has left in the water. The best way to prevent hydroplaning is to slow down. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and avoid slamming on the brakes if you hydroplane. Until you regain traction, you should cover and coast. When it is suitable, steer gently in the desired direction while avoiding oversteering.
Planning your route and giving yourself enough time to get there are crucial when driving in the snow. Keep room available on all sides of your car, drive slowly, and brake smoothly and early.
Before you drive your snow-covered car, give it a thorough cleaning. Driving a car that is covered in snow can make it difficult for you to see the road, and snow that flies from your vehicle can endanger other drivers. Driving a car that hasn’t been thoroughly cleared of snow is against the law.
When driving through a blizzard, stop completely off the road and wait until the weather improves. Try to reach the next exit if you’re on the freeway. Keep an eye out for vehicles traveling slowly or that have veered off the road.
As soon as the weather drops to freezing levels, there is a chance that the roads will become icy and slippery. Reduce your speed, extend your following distance, and allow extra space around your car if the roads start to get icy while you’re driving. Avoid erratic lane changes and drive steadily and smoothly. You can see the patches of black ice, which is ice that blends in and is hidden by the road, even if you believe the road to be clean of ice.
When visibility is compromised, you should increase your following distance, slow down, and activate low-beam headlights. Choose a route that gives you the best view of the road ahead.
In Illinois, it is illegal to drive without headlights between the hours of sunset and sunrise, when it is necessary to use windshield wipers due to rain, snow, fog, or other weather-related conditions, or at any other time when it is difficult to see people or other vehicles on the road from 1,000 feet away. Although the advice is to research the regulations in your particular state, the majority of other states have identical headlight standards.
When you drive at the right speed for the road, the traffic, and the weather, almost all driving scenarios are controllable.