Winter Driving Tips
I assume it’s fair to say that we all consider ourselves masters of the open road, right? Understood. Terribly wrong, but I understand the logic behind it. The truth is none of us are masters of the unpredictable. It’s impossible. How can you possibly master what you don’t know? Without severe weather driving tips, you’d be in rough spot.
People call themselves masters once they’ve been educated in their field, have countless years of experience, or have done trial and error until there is no error. Now feel free to consider yourself a great driver and one who knows how to adapt when turmoil erupts, however mastering the unexpected unless you can see the future is not possible.
Now, back to reality.
Driving In Bad Weather
Driving can bring on many experiences that are sometimes fun, sometimes funny, and then there are those that are sometimes life threatening. These are certain driving experiences that can bring about different emotions in a person.
There are those that annoy us. Bad drivers, bright sun in a stuck spot, long lights, rush hour. There are those that make us angry. People cutting you off, honking at you. There are those that make us embarrassed. A tire blows randomly, your battery dies in the middle lane, someone yelling at you to get off your phone because the light is green, etc.
Then there are those experiences that test a person’s makeup and fight or flight instincts because their life is at risk. These are experiences you simply don’t want to be apart of.
Aftermath of Ice Storms – You can drive well enough in ice storms because the ice hasn’t formed on the ground yet. However, the aftermath is where you are most vulnerable to accidents or health risks. Ice storms are the quietest storms yet it’s impact is felt more direct than the others. You haven’t been in a terrible ice storm until you witness the grass have a sheet of ice on it and you can literally walk nowhere. Driving on ice is another beast in and of itself.
Driving in The Rain – Yes I know what you’re thinking. How is rain more dangerous than the rest? Keep in mind these are storms that directly affect your driving ability. Rain, is a different animal. I can deal with the sliding from ice and the bitter gust of winds from blizzards, but that type of hard rain that disables your vision regardless of the wipers is something no driver wants to experience
Dense Fog- This is probably the most straightforward answer i’ll give you. Don’t drive. Truthfully it depends on how dense the fog really is. If it’s very dense then ask yourself this question; Would you drive if you were blind? I don’t think so. However, if it’s light, then use these tips. When driving in fog, you should use your brights, hazards, and make sure to go slow. Another small tip is to turn your internal lights on. That way people can see you a bit easier and any extra light helps.
In case you haven’t been in fast traffic with very hard rain, Ice storms, driving in snow for the first time or dense fog, let me put this into perspective for you. Imagine yourself climbing a mountain with another person and there are cliffs all around you. Then that person blindfolds you as a ‘’fun’’ challenge and says ‘’Hey just keep walking in any direction. I’ll tell you when you’re close to a cliff.’’ Um, negative. No.
OK maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point.
Now, let’s jump right into what you came here for. Check out these bad weather safety tips.
When driving in bad weather drivers should…
Driving can be fun, challenging, annoying, exciting, scary etc. It simply depends on the personality of the person steering. Well, no need to worry any longer. Here we’ll go over how to get over those negative emotions in the time of bad weather so that you’ll be well prepared come next time.
- Stay calm – As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. A nervous mind is a dangerous mind. Staying calm under pressure is a skill that can be equipped over time. Staying calm keeps you and others around you at ease. If the driver of the car with other lives in it panics, so will everyone else. Typically they aren’t panicking due to the weather, they are panicking usually because the person who is controlling the vehicle is nervous and doesn’t know what to do. Take deep breaths, exhale, focus, and clear your mind.
- Don’t overdo – The worst thing you can do when nervous is to try and look tough by acting like this isn’t affecting you and trying to show off. Cut out the act and take life seriously. Slow down, stay in your right lane, and/or pull over. Nobody is asking you to perform or show us your skills. You should be worried about life itself and getting yourself and others home safe.
- Use your hazards – I cannot plead this hard enough. When on the road with limited visibility such as fog, hard rain, snow, wind gusts, etc, it is very key to be seen. It’s a simple tip that can save you thousands in prevented crash damages, and possibly your life and others.
- Use your brights – This is the type of thing they were made for. Emergency viewing purposes. These give you that extra distance that allows you to see oncoming traffic. This also helps other vehicles to see your car clearer when you are approaching.
Driving by itself can be challenging if you are in no way prepared for it. Combine that with not having the right parts and you’ll be in for a rough day. Let’s go down a few ways to make sure you are equipped and ready to actually attempt to drive in bad conditions.
Here’s what you’ll need;
When you are driving in bad weather or bad road conditions you should..
- Purchase water resistant wipers – These are a vital piece to any vehicle in terms of driving period. Even the smallest of rain or snow showers can be hazardous without decent wipers. The purpose of these are to get rid of any liquid precipitation, debris and or clutter in any form that may potentially block your vision.
- Get good grip tires – People usually assume the only use of a tire is to go forward, turn, and go backwards. What if I told you it’s main purpose is to protect the priceless vessel inside the vehicle. How? Well, yes I agree that going forward, backwards and turning is a great feature that the tires assist in, however, when the brake is activated, the only way a car can actually stop is if the tire has good enough grip. Hence why many cars slide when it’s wet outside. That’s due to bad tread on their tires.
- Keep survival materials – No, I am not being dramatic. This step is a must use. This article is about driving in extreme weather conditions. I can give you all the tips in the world and nature can still take its course if you’re not careful. When you get a chance take a look at ‘The great Appalachian storm of 1950’’. The blizzard snowfall totals came to 57 inches of snowfall. It lasted a record 8 days from November 22nd – November 30th.
Great stats right?
What if I told you 350+ people died from this storm due to the extreme cold, wind chills, snow fall, dead batteries, taking that one wrong turn down that deep path, ignoring advice not to go out and many more. A very tragic day indeed, and one that we will never forget. However, deaths could have been avoided. Not going out to begin with.
A storm of this magnitude could care less about driving tips. At that point you need to be worried about survival. The number one rule for driving in bad weather is to always keep heat with you, a working phone, food, water, gasoline, and to know when to say ‘’no’’ to going out.
I hope you can use these tips to your advantage to stay safe in all times of adversity and travel. Hopefully now you can be a confident driver that will be ready for any challenge. Remember to always remain calm, focus on the goal, and get back safely.