As winter approaches, we need to prepare for driving in the rain and snow. Although these are not the most ideal conditions for getting on the road, follow these steps to make sure you’re driving safely in wet conditions!
Know the Conditions
Before you head out on your drive, check the weather to see what driving conditions you’ll have to endure. If there is a lot of wind, rain, or snow, consider staying in or finding an alternative (less risky) form of transportation.
Checking the weather is also really helpful for new drivers who might need to prepare for certain conditions before heading out onto the road.
Driving is an active task, but in snowy or rainy conditions, you need extra focus and attention. Avoid any distractions, such as your phone, playing with dashboard features, and loud entertainment.
Keep control of the vehicle, and avoid cruise control/auto-steering features in case you need to quickly maneuver out of a sticky situation!
Don’t drive recklessly, and try driving at a speed below the posted limit. Leave ample room between yourself and other drivers, especially since they might not be comfortable or well trained in driving through harsh weather.
Study Common Protocols
No matter how safely we drive, unexpected accidents are possible, so knowing how to respond can save your life. Here are some common dangers people face:
Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road after losing traction.
If this happens, a light will likely flash on the dashboard and it will feel as though you have lost control of the vehicle. Don’t panic – slowly remove your foot off the gas pedal, but DO NOT aggressively break. Try maneuvering the car to a safe location until you regain traction and control.
Black ice is a thin layer of clear ice on the road, which many people don’t see as it blends in with the road.
If you are caught in this situation, calmly lift your foot off the gas and steer towards a less icy part of the road. Do not make any sudden movements, as it can cause you to skid out of control.
Prepare your Car
Make sure your car is ready for driving through wet conditions.
For the rain, having fresh windshield wipers can help improve visibility. Also, remember to use the defogging feature for front and back windshields in the cold weather.
For snow & icy conditions, add tire chains or winter tires when necessary, or consider upgrading to an AWD (all-wheel drive) vehicle. For extra caution, you can also add chains on top of winter tires!
Prepare for your Safety
In case you find yourself in an emergency situation, you will want to be prepared. Consider adding some safety devices, like our resqme® car escape tool that cuts through jammed seatbelts and breaks through tempered glass!
Even if you don’t need to escape, make sure you have an emergency contact you can easily reach!
Now that you’re prepared, you should feel more comfortable with driving through wet conditions. Just remember to stay calm and focused, and don’t push your limits of comfort.