While the safest option is to avoid driving in bad weather, sometimes you just have no choice. When the weather turns the road treacherous, these essential things will help you stay as safe as possible so you can arrive safely.
Whether you’re driving in rain, snow or ice, slowing down is the most important thing you can do. All of these types of weather make it more difficult to stop, and in the case of snow and ice, can make controlling your vehicle more challenging. By slowing down you’ll give yourself plenty of reaction time so you can stop or move over safely.
Prepare for Black Ice
Black ice, so named for driver’s being unable to see it for the most part, is incredibly dangerous. It is most often on bridges, areas where the sun doesn’t hit due to shadows and near the drains at intersections. If you are heading around a curve or to an intersection, make sure you slow down and leave plenty of room for your vehicle to stop without heavy braking.
When driving in bad weather, standing on your brakes is never a good idea. If you have to hit them, make sure you do it well in advance, and ease them on – this will help slow your momentum before the wheels stop turning.
Pay Attention to Conditions
If you come to an area of road that is flooded, don’t try to go through it anyway. It can be difficult to tell how deep it is, which could mean stalling your car out if it gets into your engine. Additionally, deep water can have a strong current that can quickly shift your car.
Avoid the Invincible Syndrome
As vehicles get larger, many people believe that SUVs and other large vehicles can handle bad weather better. While that added weight and four-wheel drive may help some, that doesn’t mean you should attempt to go the speed limit on snow, ice or during heavy rains. Your vehicle might be large, but it is still susceptible to ice. It can also have a higher risk for turning over too, especially if you have to make a sudden move.
Bad weather makes driving difficult. Make sure your vehicle is in the best condition for snow, ice and rain by changing your tires and contacting YourMechanic to have them rotated frequently to avoid uneven wear.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Driving in Bad Weather and was authored by Valerie Johnston.