Whether you are a new driver, or new to certain types of weather, you need to be a defensive driver when the weather throws surprises at you. Poor weather conditions occur in all seasons and all climates. Familiarize yourself with what types of extreme weather you may encounter in your location.
When you encounter bad weather conditions while on the road, there are some important things to remember.
1. Drive slower
If you’re driving on snow or ice, there will be less traction. If you’re driving in heavy rain, snow or fog, you will have decreased visibility. You will feel the force of extreme winds on your vehicle. Whatever poor weather conditions you encounter, decrease your speed so that you maintain control of your vehicle. However, avoid going so slow that you become a hazard to other drivers on the road.
2. Increase the distance between vehicles
To the best of your ability, allow for more space between your vehicle and others. If you or they should slide or skid on the slick roads, more space between you gives you more time to react and possibly avoid a collision.
3. Use brakes carefully
Snow, ice, and even heavy rains will reduce the traction of your tires on the road. Use steady, even pressure when applying your brakes, no matter what type of brakes your vehicle may have. Slamming on your brakes on slick roads will often cause the slide you are trying to avoid.
When harsh weather strikes, the best way to keep safe is to avoid driving at all. However, that’s not always an option and the weather often strikes while you’re already on the road. Be cautious, pay attention to other cars on the road and remain as calm as possible until you are safely out of the weather.