DRIVING TIPS FOR WIND AND RAIN
Posted on: Nov. 01, 2016 in Driving, Safety, Weather

Driving during inclement weather can be challenging. Heavy rain and wind can make maneuvering your vehicle difficult and reduced visibility could mean you have even less time to make decisions. Follow these safety tips to help you get where you need to be safely.

Strong winds can be a concern anywhere, but can pose additional threats on overpasses, in tunnels, or on roads that cut through mountains. Depending on the size of your vehicle, a gust of wind can move the car or shift the direction. Be sure to keep a firm grip on the wheel at all times to allow for better steering. If your vehicle is larger or you’re towing a trailer, use extra caution as you’ll be more susceptible to the wind.

When driving in heavy rain, slow down. Particularly in the first few moments after rain begins, the road may be especially slick due to accumulated oils. You’ll also want to increase your following distance. Most experts recommend a three-second following time between you and the vehicle ahead of you. When it’s raining, increase this distance by one or two seconds. This will allow for increased time to react to traffic.

Another concern when driving in heavy rain is hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when the tires travel on a thin layer of water and do not grip the road surface properly. When a car hydroplanes, it may become increasingly difficult to steer or brake and a driver may also lose control of the vehicle. If you can, try to drive in the tracks of the car ahead of you. Avoid hard braking and use extra caution while taking turns. This is a good time to mention the importance of tire maintenance, as properly inflated tires with adequate tread are less likely to hydroplane.

In all types of weather, keep an eye on other drivers. This is especially important in bad weather. Avoid those who are speeding, making quick lane changes, or are driving in an unsafe manner. Remember to keep your headlights on so that other drivers can be aware of your position on the road.

Every driver will face adverse conditions at some point. Use caution, understand the impact the weather can have on the roads, and drive defensively. It may take more time to reach your destination, but at least you’ll arrive there safely!

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