By: Will Anderson
Various factors make driving a challenge for even the most experienced driver. Most of those outside factors are weather-related such as snow, rain, freezing rain and storms. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 22% of all vehicle accidents that occur each year are weather-related. On top of that, almost 6,000 people are killed, and 445,000 are injured because of accidents that occur in bad weather. As the temperature outside begins to drop, it’s essential to recognize the dangers that come with driving during this time of year.
Here are some safety tips when it comes to driving in hazardous weather:
- The first thing you can do is stay home and only drive if it’s absolutely necessary. This sounds simple, but all too often, people ignore the obvious.
is another way to ensure your safety while driving in bad weather. Especially
with icy or snowy conditions, it’s important to drop your speed by at least
five miles per hour than what you would typically drive, and often it’s prudent
to proceed as slow as the flow of traffic allows.
- Having a good “feel” for the brakes on your particular vehicle is another crucial part of driving in bad weather. If your brakes are sensitive, then you need to slowly press on them instead of slamming on them, which could cause you to spin out of control depending on road conditions. If you have less sensitive brakes, you need to make sure you know the distance it takes for you to come to a complete stop. Remember to tap on and off of them to prevent uncontrollable slides.
- Another important tip for driving in bad weather is increasing the amount of distance between you and the next car. Following too close behind another vehicle can be very dangerous because if you’re too close to them, you won’t have enough time to stop.
One final note on driving safety in adverse conditions – make sure you have a car emergency kit in your vehicle in case you are stranded for some time.