Rain, wind, snow, and other elements can make even the best drivers a little tense. When bad weather hits, you need to pay special attention to where you are and what you’re doing. You can’t always avoid driving in intense conditions, so it’s best to prepare for the worst. No matter what you face on the road, travel confidently by following these tips for driving safely in severe weather.
Take Your Time
Speeding is never a good idea, but it’s even more dangerous when the roads are bad. If you know you’re going to be driving through severe weather, plan ahead and give yourself more time to get to your destination. Driving more slowly gives you better control over your vehicle and more time to react to sudden stops or turns. You’re also less likely to hydroplane at slower speeds.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Just because you’re a safe driver doesn’t mean others will be. Always be aware of your surroundings on the road—especially in bad weather. Leave plenty of room between yourself and other drivers. This will give you more time to safely brake, turn, or otherwise react to sudden changes on the road. You should also keep an eye out for less secure vehicles and objects, such as tall trucks, trailers, or loose debris on the side of the road.
Prepare Your Vehicle
No matter what time of year it is or what the weather looks like, you should always keep a few safety essentials in your car. A first aid kit is a must. You should also keep blankets and spare gloves, hats, and scarves on hand in case you get stuck in the cold. It’s also a good idea to keep jumper cables and a spare tire in your vehicle.
Additionally, one of the best tips for driving safely in severe weather is to keep your car in good shape with preventative maintenance. Check your tires regularly, change the oil, and replace old wiper blades when necessary. If you don’t feel like going to the mechanic, keep a stock of car maintenance supplies on hand to perform routine tasks when necessary. When your vehicle is always prepared, you never have to worry about getting stuck in a bad situation with a car that isn’t up for the journey.