The vast majority of car accidents are caused by driver error. While the weather may not be to blame for every incident, driving in challenging conditions can elevate risks. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to prepare for all types of weather, providing tips to help you stay safe on the roads, come rain or shine.
General maintenance and repairs
Keeping your car in good working order is one of the best ways to minimize risks on the road. Check your vehicle before you leave the driveway, keep up to date with tests and inspections, and seek advice if you notice any unusual odors or noises. Maintaining your car will maximize safety and save you money in the long run.
Driving in wet weather
Most of us have experienced driving in wet weather. Torrential downpours and persistent heavy showers can cause mayhem on the roads, reducing visibility and creating a slippery surface. If it is raining outside, and you’re in the car, it’s important to slow down and increase your stopping distance. Give the vehicles around you plenty of time and space. Make sure your windshield seal is intact and check your wipers regularly. Consider pulling over in a safe place if you can’t see in front of you or water levels are rising to a dangerous level. It’s best to delay your journey if there is a risk of getting stranded or skidding.
Summer driving tips
Summer poses different challenges from winter but it’s often no less dangerous. The most common problem drivers face on hot, bright days is reduced visibility caused by the sun. The glare of the sun can make it difficult to read signs, to see signals and to determine what other vehicles are doing. If it is sunny outside, use your visor and make sure you have sunglasses with you. Keep back from other vehicles and take extra care to check blind spots when maneuvering or changing position.
Ice and snow
Ice and snow can cause serious issues for drivers of all kinds of vehicles. Icy roads are slippery and snow can block routes, causing travel chaos. Heavy snowfall can also make it impossible to see the roads. If you are driving in winter, and the conditions are poor, check your route in advance, listen out for advice and warnings, and make sure you have supplies with you. It’s always beneficial to carry extra layers, a high-visibility vest, a torch, a first aid kit, blankets and snacks and drinks if you’re going on a long journey. Delay or cancel your trip if authorities are advising against road travel. If the surface is slippery, you will need to reduce your speed and give other cars more time and space. Keep two hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times.
The weather can make driving more difficult and dangerous during every season. Whether you’re planning a summer road trip, or you commute come rain or shine, it’s wise to take these tips on board.
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