Being able to get safely to your destination while driving in bad weather is very important. Even for experienced drivers safe driving in bad weather is not easy. So whether you have driven through stormy weather plenty or you are preparing to do so, here are 7 tips for driving in stormy weather.

Plan ahead

The number one rule for driving in bad weather is to make sure that you give yourself some extra time to arrive at your destination. Traffic conditions will most likely be much slower than normal and you will need to drive cautiously. Don’t feel as if you need to rush or speed because in poor weather that could easily cause an accident. You also do not want to add more stress to your drive by fearing you might be late. The stormy weather conditions can be stressful enough for many drivers. It is also important to plan ahead by making sure the route you are taking is the safest one. You might be able to avoid the worst of the weather on a different road or even find roads that have been cleared.

Check your car’s equipment

The next thing you want to prepare for is when driving in poor weather conditions it is best to make sure that all the equipment in your car is working properly. Having the proper tires on your car for the weather can make a big difference. Snow tires have a deep, open tread pattern on them that allow them to grip to the slick surfaces better than your normal tires would. It is also good to check and make sure that things like your brakes are in order, your windshield wipers and wiper fluid can do their job and your headlights are not dirty. You should also make sure that you scrape and snow or ice off your car so you can have the best possible visibility out of all windows.

Wear your seatbelt

Wearing your seatbelt is very important anytime you are driving because it can reduce fatalities in car accidents by at least 74%. It is even more important to buckle up when driving in stormy weather. Even though it is the law in the United States to wear a seatbelt when in a vehicle, it is there to protect you and help save your life.

Leave extra distance

Driving safely in bad weather means that you should leave extra space between you and the car in front of you. When road conditions are bad, it can mean that your car might have difficulty stopping or even slowing down. Experts on the subject recommend that you leave three times the space that you normally should when driving in poor weather conditions. Normally you should stay at least three seconds behind the car in front of you but in bad weather it should be nine seconds.

Slow down way before you need to

When the roads are slippery speeding can become even more dangerous. If you approach a turn or curve in the road too quickly, it is possible to lose control of your vehicle. By taking the curve at a slower speed you are less likely to lose control. When driving in bad weather drivers should slow down before you usually do in order to avoid slipping. Once you are stopped, before you accelerate again remember to do so with caution. If you accelerate too quickly, your tires may not be able to grip onto anything and cause you to not move even though you are applying the gas.

Take extra care on bridges or overpasses

When you are driving in bad weather you should be extra cautious when passing over any bridges or overpasses because they tend to freeze faster in cold weather. This is because the air circulation underneath the road speeds up the process and they lose heat quicker. They also tend to stay icy and slippery longer which can create unexpected hazardous conditions. If these are on your route, take extra care when crossing. There will sometimes be road signs warning drivers that any upcoming bridges or overpasses could be icy.

Leave your headlights on

Driving safe in bad weather means that you should keep your headlights on. If the conditions are rainy and stormy, then visibility might be low and having your headlights on can help you stay in your lane and keep you aware of potential obstacles in the road. If the weather is foggy, keeping your low beams on will not only help you see, but help other drivers see you too. If visibility is very low, keeping to the right side of the road as best you can will help you avoid accidentally crossing lanes.

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