Most people are aware that driving on road surfaces wet from rain or snow can be somewhat hazardous, and in some cases extremely hazardous, especially if rain or snow is still falling and interfering with your vision. However, not everyone is aware of what to do under conditions like these, and how to use the safest driving practices to keep your vehicle under control. Here are five tips for driving through rainy or snowy conditions, which will help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of inclement weather on the road.
The first and most obvious tip is to simply drive slower when either of these two weather conditions is in effect. Fortunately, driving slower in bad weather is instinctive for many drivers, but when coupled with a conscious effort to operate the vehicle more slowly, it can be the very best approach to bad-weather driving. When coming up to intersections or preparing to brake, you should apply the brakes more gradually, because you won’t have the traction to make a sudden stop. Likewise, when you’re starting away from an intersection, you should ease away from the stop, so you don’t spin your wheels and go sideways.
Be alert for hydroplaning
Hydroplaning is what occurs when your tires grip the layer of water on the road instead of the road itself, and only one-twelfth of an inch of rain is needed for this to happen. When roads are wet and you’re driving more than 35 mph, the effects of hydroplaning can come into play, and you can easily lose control of your vehicle. If this happens to you, the best thing to do is to slow down and keep driving in a straight line until you regain control.
Check tires for tread
It is an essential part of car care to have sufficient tread on your vehicle’s tires for gripping road surfaces properly, and this is doubly true on wet or slippery roads. Some drivers remember to check tire tread at the beginning of the winter season, but it’s often overlooked that tire tread is just as important on the slick roads during or after a heavy rain.
Keep your windshield cleaned and wipers operational
Make sure you can see properly, and that you can be seen during rainy or snowy weather. To do this, you’ll need to make sure your headlights are working properly, your windshield wipers are in good condition, and your windshield is free from debris or other obstructions. It’s worth your while to periodically use an excellent glass cleaner such as Ecoclean Glass+ and protective coating such as Ecocoat Window for the windshield an d Ecocoat Headlight for the headlights, to ensure you have the best driving vision.
Another great tip for driving under difficult weather conditions is simply to maintain a high state of alertness. You should never drive distracted under any conditions, but something bad can happen twice as quickly when road surfaces become dangerous. By keeping your focus solely on the road and on traffic around you, the chances of an accident or driving mishap will be significantly reduced. Stay alert and stay safe.