Driving during inclement weather can be hazardous, but you can keep yourself and your passengers safe if you plan ahead and take the proper precautions according to a Chicago car accident lawyer. The key to safe driving during bad weather is preparation. If you’re prepared before you hit the road, then you’ll be ready to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you, whether it’s rain, sleet, or snow! Our friends at Disparti Law Group have five tips on how to drive in bad weather below, so pay attention!
Check The Weather
Weather is an important consideration when driving, and you should always know what to expect for your route. You can consult a meteorologist, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or your local weather service before setting out on a journey. Make sure to be alert for changing conditions like wind and snow, which could make driving difficult. Always check that the road surface is clear and report any incidents you encounter to local law enforcement if it’s safe to do so. If conditions get worse while you’re on the road, try to avoid passing slower moving vehicles as it could lead to a collision with another car that was in front of you moments ago.
Slow down when you have to. Be willing to give up a few seconds of speed for safety. This goes for weather that is clear as well as for worse conditions. Remember, your life is more important than getting somewhere on time. It’s also a good indication that road conditions are not good if everyone around is driving slowly, so make sure to pay attention to others on the road. Make sure your brake pads are in good shape and that your tread depth is high enough before driving in snow or ice-covered conditions (see Tip #3 below).
When it’s raining, you’ll want to make sure you are avoiding puddles. Why? Well because you never know how deep they are or what’s in them. If you don’t have the opportunity to avoid puddles, drive slowly and carefully until your tires regain traction. Sometimes people aim for puddles at a fast speed for a fun splash. This can be extremely dangerous and cause your vehicle to hydroplane. Plus, as mentioned earlier, you do not know how deep the puddle is or what is inside of it. It could be so deep that you blow a tire. There could be hidden debris that causes your car to lose control.
Avoid Slippery Surfaces
In bad weather conditions, try not to skid on ice or drive through standing water. Make sure you wear your seatbelt and always use your headlights. Your high beams can reflect back off the ice and cause glare. If possible, give a wide berth to semi trucks in the winter since they leave very slippery salt residue behind. Watch out for black ice, especially when driving around bends or intersections with trees that overhang the road, as well as steep hills (be careful going down hills because if your brakes get stuck it is hard to stop and this can cause a deadly crash).
Prepare Yourself Physically And Mentally
It can be difficult to drive in bad weather, but by taking some precautions and by practicing safe driving techniques, it is possible to do so. The first thing you need to do is dress for the weather, with appropriate shoes and cold-weather clothing that provides adequate warmth. You should also equip your car with necessities such as a flashlight, bottled water, and non-perishable food items that could last up to five days if you get stranded in an emergency situation.
If you find yourself in a car accident due to bad weather, contact an attorney immediately.