Inclement weather is a driver’s worst enemy. The combination of poor visibility and bad road conditions leads to around a 34% increase in the risk of a fatal car accident.
If you can’t avoid driving in rain or snow, it’s crucial you know the best way to prevent getting into a car accident while you’re on the road.
Before you head out into the storm, make sure you and your vehicle are ready to face it as safely as possible. These 9 tips may just help you get to your destination without incident.
Know Where You’re Going
Plan out your route beforehand and go ahead and enter it into your favorite navigation app before you leave. When the roads aren’t in ideal condition, taking even a moment to reset your GPS could lead to disaster.
It’s also a great idea to check on road conditions and try to avoid any routes where the roads are very bad or where accidents have already occurred.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Bad Weather
Your car will drive so much better in poor weather if you take good care of it. If you’re going to be out driving in a storm, make sure your vehicle’s wipers, battery, tires, and fluids are up to the task.
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car, just in case something needs to be fixed while you’re out.
Driving slowly means driving more carefully. Speed limits are made for optimal weather conditions, so you shouldn’t be driving that fast in a downpour. Decreasing your speed also decreases your stopping distance.
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination so you’re not in a rush or tempted to drive faster.
Increase Your Following Distance
Even when you’re driving slower, it’s still important to leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. In the event you have to stop quickly, you don’t want to slam on your breaks to avoid hitting someone.
Because the roads are slick, you’ll need more space to come to a complete stop.
Always pay attention to the brake lights of the car ahead of you. This will give you a fair warning if you need to stop before you get too close.
Make Your Car Visible
In low visibility conditions like a storm, making sure other drivers are aware of you is essential. Keep your headlights on at all times when driving through a storm so everyone knows you’re coming.
Make sure you use your turn signals well ahead of any turns as well. Don’t leave anyone guessing about your movements.
Be Aware of High Accident Zones
Car accidents are more common in places like intersections, bridges, merges, and when changing lanes. It’s important to be on your guard when you’re dealing with a situation where you’re more likely to get into an accident.
If something does happen due to inclement weather, talking to a car accident attorney like those at JT Legal Group in California is one of the first things you should do, especially if you suffer an injury.
No Sudden Moves
Minimize any abrupt actions when driving in rain or snow. Slamming on the brakes, turning at the last second, or suddenly changing lanes could lead you to lose control of your vehicle.
Learn how to recover from a skid on slippery roads so that you won’t panic if your car starts to slide on you.
The only thing you should be focused on while you’re driving is the road. This is doubly important if you’re driving in less than ideal conditions.
Distractions can be listening to loud music, eating, drinking, talking on the phone, or texting. Anything that takes your attention away from the simple act of driving needs to go so you can keep yourself safe.
If Possible, Don’t Drive
Sometimes, going out in bad weather is unavoidable. But if you really don’t need to go out to the grocery store or to visit that friend or hit the gym for your usual routine — just don’t.
The roads will clear and you will be safer for it!
Rain and snow bring slick roads, poor visibility, and a much higher chance of getting into a car accident. If you’re on the road in these conditions, it’s essential to take as many precautions as necessary to avoid crashing.
The risk is never zero but these tips will give you the best chance to prevent getting into a car accident during your travels.