Whenever you’re behind the steering wheel, exercising caution is key. Not only does practicing driving safety keep yourself out of harm’s way, but it protects other drivers and pedestrians as well. While staying safe on the road may seem intuitive, there are some external factors that influence our decisions as drivers. One such factor that may impact how safe we are when driving is extreme weather; between heavy winds and downpours of rain, there’s certainly a risk of driving in certain weather conditions that ought to be thought about. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips for driving safety to take into heart whenever you’re driving and dealing with stormy weather.
You may not think of wind as being a serious concern, but intense winds can be dangerous for drivers. Certain areas are particularly prone to high winds, too, including coastal areas or mountainous regions. Driving around while there are heavy winds can throw you off your game and make everything feel slightly off, so keep these tips in mind:
- Keep Your Hands on the Wheel: Those high winds can make controlling your vehicle difficult, especially if you’ve really fallen into the swing of muscle memory and aren’t anticipating anything throwing you off. Don’t let intense winds make it hard to control your vehicle though; you want to maintain a firm grip on your steering wheel and keep
- Watch for Large Vehicles: If a vehicle is on the larger end of things, particularly if it has a lot of height to it, that makes controlling it in high winds even more difficult. Those kinds of vehicles already require some care to navigate around, but because wind impacts them even more than your everyday compact car, you’re going to want to be careful near them.
- Look Out for Sudden Gusts: Take a look at local weather reports before you start driving to see if there are any wind conditions that may impact how you drive.
Rain can make roads slick and decrease your visibility, ultimately causing risk of hydroplaning and auto accidents. Hydroplaning makes it difficult to slow down, stop, and can make you slide across the surface of the water. That loss of control of your vehicle is dangerous and it’s important to avoid hydroplaning by following these driving safety tips.
- Slow Down: Going at slower speeds can prevent hydroplaning from ever happening. Immediately after rainfall is when roads are the slickest so, if you have the option, you may want to wait it out a bit.
- Turn Lights On: Leaving your headlights on during rain can make your vehicle visible. This is especially important when your windshield wipers are on.
- Leave Some Room: Following too closely to other cars is always a risk, but you want to express extreme caution when it’s raining. Give an extra one or two seconds of follow time so you have enough room to react.
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