Living in Chicago, I have become very accustomed to harsh weather conditions that creep on you at unexpected moments, all throughout the year. Understanding how to manage the road can help you navigate through a life or death situation, and make you feel more comfortable when the weather plays out the way it does. Driving in unsafe weather conditions should be entirely avoided if possible. If not, then keep in mind these tips for driving in the most unpleasant weather conditions: fog, rain, and snow.
Some say that dense fog can be the most dangerous condition to drive in because it impairs your vision, making it harder to see the road you’re driving on, and what is in front of you. If you have no choice but to drive in the fog, make sure you slow down way below the speed limit. Driving too fast can increase your chances of swerving into another lane and decrease your time and ability to stop if a car comes into your lane.
Never use your brights, ONLY use your regular headlights to see! Too much light can impair your ability to see even more because the lights are reflecting off the fog and coming back at you.
Use the white lines on the side of the road to guide you rather than the middle yellow line. Doing so will help you stay in your lane and keep other drivers headlights out of your eyes.
Allow a sufficient amount of distance in between you and the car in front of you, so you and the vehicle ahead have time to stop if necessary.
Use turn signals early on, so the driver behind you has a higher chance of seeing them.
Rain is the most common weather condition that everybody is going to have to deal with in life. Rain comes at weird hours, usually at least once every season, so knowing how to drive in this weather will be the most useful.
Make sure that you know how to use windshield wipers as they will help you the most!
Always give yourself enough time to stop and avoid speeding. When the roads are wet, there is a greater chance of skidding and sliding out of your lane.
In really heavy rains, use your headlights to see and be seen by other drivers.
Try to drive in the tracks of the car ahead of you because driving in puddles and on the outer lanes can cause your vehicle to steer out of control.
If you drive in snowy conditions, always be sure to give yourself enough time to get where you need to go. You will have to drive a lot slower, and this will help you avoid speeding if you plan ahead. If the snow has been sitting for a day, be extra careful because chances are there is ice under the snow or black ice that you cannot see, and it’s terrifying when you don’t have control of your vehicle.
When you come up on a turn, do so very slowly to avoid hitting another vehicle if your car loses traction.
When you accelerate, don’t peddle to the metal. If you do, the tires will spin in place and cause you to spin out of control.
Make sure your brakes are working and that you are in 4-wheel drive. Different cars react differently to snow so it might be helpful to practice in an empty parking lot, where there is no one around.
In the case that you find yourself in an accident due to poor road conditions, make sure you are prepared and already have a warranty on your car because Endurance is always there to help!