What’s the one thing that makes driving a hellish experience? Traffic, you say? Thumbs up to you for that reply. But at least traffic doesn’t pose a threat to your life. Bad weather, on the other hand, does. Apart from giving you a miserable experience, driving through bad weather could also be life threatening at times. You can’t control the weather and the environment around you. But you sure can reign in your driving habits.
- Cloudy skies and heavy rains could make your day poetic. Not if you’re driving though. Have the following points in mind.
- Maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. A little bit farther than usual. It’s no surprise that cars lose some traction when there’s water on the road. It’s good if you’re fully aware of this fact and leave a good gap. Especially when you’re driving on the highway.
- Ensure that your tires aren’t bald. Bald tires usually don’t have a well-defined tread pattern. This is a result of excessive usage of the tires. Tread patterns are essential to provide good grip over the road. So please change your tires after they exceed the prescribed limit as specified by the manufacturer.
- Hydroplaning is something that your car should avoid. This is a phenomenon when the tyres derive more grip from the layer of the water on the road and not the road itself. So it’s almost as if your car is gliding over the water. You could lose control and crash the car. To avoid this, always drive slowly when there’s a heavy downpour. You might reach your destination late but it’s fine really. Better late than never.
- When you’re going around a curve, try not to brake too hard. Your wheels get locked up in such a scenario and a locked wheel can never steer a car. Add water to this situation and it gets riskier. Apply the brakes lightly and let go of the accelerator. A spinning wheel provides grip and will follow the direction in which you point it.
- Use your headlights! Don’t use high beams though.
- Along with the headlights, use fog lights as well. Make sure your car has fog lights installed. Normal headlights provide beams of light which get reflected off the water vapour in the air. Fog lights on the other hand, are positioned very low in the car. They emit a wide spread beam of light and are angled towards the road. Also, fog lights appear more yellow than regular headlights and all these factors help illuminate the road ahead. Just the saving grace you need in the midst of a heavy fog.
- Always wise to maintain a very good distance from the vehicle ahead. Don’t tailgate in such situations.
- You could lower your windows to listen for other cars.
- Drive slowly and you definitely won’t regret it.
- If visibility is absolutely poor, then don’t hesitate to pull over to a service lane and wait till the fog subsides.
- If you’re going to be driving through thick snow, then it’s essential to have your tyres covered with snow chains. These are nothing but metallic chains which wrap around the tyres. It provides the grip you need while driving though snow and ice. This can easily be purchased from stores.
- Ensure your tank is at least half-filled to prevent the fuel lines from freezing.
- Make sure that you’re exhaust pipe is free from snow and other obstructions
- Be aware of black ice. This usually forms on portions of road that are not exposed to sunlight. Be sure to drive very slowly. At night you can easily spot black ice as it would reflect from the headlights.
- Always have a spare tyre, emergency repair kit, and first aid kit in your car.
- Maintain your car in good running condition by regularly servicing it.
- Don’t use cruise control during bad weather conditions.
- Drive slowly.
- Plan your trip well in advance.
- Try not to venture out during adverse weather conditions.