Even though tyre and car technology has made driving in bad weather much less dangerous than it used to be, grip levels on wet roads are still notably less that in dry conditions.
Because of this, it’s absolutely essential you take care when out on the roads during bad weather, or even after a light shower. In fact, after a long period of dry weather, a small shower can lift grease off the road and make it like driving on ice.
So, whether you’ve just taken your driving test, or have been driving for years, here are five tips that will help you stay safe.
While you might say it’s obvious that you should slow down when the roads are wet, do you find that you actually do slow down? Some people are on autopilot when they’re driving, and simply don’t take into account how easy it is for your car to skid or lose control in poor weather. Now, add speed into these threatening circumstances, and a potentially fatal situations can quickly arise.
Note the speed limit. Depending upon the level of rain or snow, gauge how much under the speed limit it is appropriate to drive. If other drivers are honking at you to move more quickly, remember that your safety is more important than their impatience, simply move out of their way.
You might be driving on a local road just down the block from your house when a storm strikes. However, you also might be on a major parkway. Keep in mind that the right lane exists. You do not need to stay in a high-speed lane or even the middle lane. Simply move over. If the weather is really bad, you are likely to see other drivers with the same idea as you do the same.
Use Your Car’s technology
Remember that your car has tools to help guide you through this weather. Make certain that your windshield wipers are on and that you are using the defrosters correctly. Defrost both the front and back windshields so that you can see before you start off. Some cars have lane detection, so be certain to activate that feature. In serious weather, you may lose the ability to see where the lane ends.
Also, you should put your lights on so that you can see better and so that other cars can see you.
Put the Phone Away
Even if you’ve got a hands-free system in your car, studies have shown that there is still a reduction in reaction times for people using them. During bad weather, you need all the reaction time available, so don’t be tempted to call anyone, and if you receive a call, it’s far safer to hang up and call them back later.
Pull to the Side
If you are dealing with threatening weather conditions, you may feel as though you just want to stop and wait for the storm to pass. Don’t feel awkward about doing so. Other drivers on the road are probably having the same thoughts. Of course, you must make sure that doing so is safe.
If you can get into a parking lot or a side street, it’s probably safer to park up there. If you have to pull over on the road, be extremely careful if leaving your vehicle as other drivers will have the same vision problems as you. They might not see you until it’s too late.
Thanks to Book Driving Test Ireland for help in compiling this list! You can get their latest e-book on how to pass first time from their website here: https://www.irelanddrivingtest.com/