The most important aspect of driving is to reach the desired destination ALIVE! Hazards come secondary when defying death becomes the main aim during a weather atrocity. Bad weather can have disastrous effects on certain lives that do not follow the safety precautions while driving. The following are the safety tips for driving amidst such bad weather:
• Check your VEHICLE thoroughly before you set out. Make sure that the vehicle is fit to withstand the weather; this includes examination of lights, indicators, brakes, tires, wipers, steering wheel and exhaust system for any petty issues that can irritate you on the way. Any major faults should be cleared at the service station instead. Avoid getting stranded without fuel, plan in advance where you will refuel. Most importantly, the vehicle must not be overloaded.
• Plan your ROUTE in advance and inform about it to a responsible friend or family member who is not travelling with you. This should be done before starting to travel. Updates about the course of the journey should also be given if possible. This keeps them alert and you have somebody to ask for help if you get stuck just nearby a safe location. Finally inform them on reaching the destination safely.
• WEATHER reports should be checked for the areas along the route that you will be driving through before leaving the home. It is particularly important for you to be updated about the current scenario. This helps you getting prepared for the possible risk of driving in heavy rain or snow. While driving, turn on the car’s radio to a station that will alert you about any approaching dangers like storms in the area.
• Maintaining a DEFENSIVE behavior not only helps in your own safety but also aids in the safety of other travelers. One needs to avoid distractions such as using your cell phone and focus on the road. Reduce your speed (slow down by 10 miles per hour) below the actual speed limit. Lights should be kept on during any situation with lowered visibility because being visible is another important aspect of safety on the highways.
• DO NOT expect others to be as obedient to the law as yourself! Dip your headlights before a vehicle approaches within the range of the main beam. Driving on the blind spot of other vehicles or urgent braking should be avoided; these can lead to unexpected collisions. Maintain a safe distance at all times, especially at night and during foggy or snow conditions. Overtake with caution, only when it is absolutely safe to do so.
Carefully evaluate beforehand, whether to follow your travel plan and risk your life or instead let the bad weather to pass. The single most recommended tip to be kept in mind – if you are unable to handle your vehicle safely, you should NOT be driving! Once you get that feeling of being uncomfortable, you should STOP your vehicle as soon as you can safely do so. Sometimes uncertainty can be certainly dangerous.