Safety tips in bad weather conditions

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General Tips :

  • Increase the three- second rule to 5-6 seconds to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
  • If it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually.
  • Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid.
  • If you find that an oncoming vehicle is overtaking from the opposite direction and will not be likely to do it safely, slow down and be prepared to move to the left shoulder if necessary.
  • Only move towards the shoulder if you are able to see clearly 150m ahead of you. Keep in mind that pedestrians may be walking on the shoulder to avoid the mud next to the surface of the road.
  • Beware of oil patches. Don’t panic. Do not jam on your brakes, just steer through. In most cases, the patches will be small.
  • Always change to a lower gear before you take a bend, especially a sharp bend. Your speed should be at its slowest as you enter the bend and both your hands should be on the steering wheel. This slow in/fast out technique gives you most control when driving around a bend.
  • Increase your space cushion by doubling your normal following distance from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Be careful of other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.
  • Use your low-beam headlights to see and be seen. Wait a short time after the rain begins before using your windshield wipers because the blades may smear.
  • Be extra careful during the first half hour after rain begins. Grime and oil on the road surface mix with water to make the road slippery.

If You’re Driving in Foggy Conditions:

  • Turn on the fog lights.(There’s usually a switch on the dashboard or on the same lever that controls the turn signal, but you can also use the low beams setting.) The lights are yellow, which cuts through fog better than white lamps do, and they’re low to the ground so the beams illuminate the road well.
  • Pump the brakes before entering a fog bank.This alerts the cars trailing you to back off. If you wait to apply the brakes until you’re in the thick of it, you could get hit from behind.
  • Slow down before a hill.Be extra-cautious driving over the crest of a hill because you won’t be able to see if there’s another car stopped there.

If You’re Driving in Rainy Weather:

  • Slow down by at least 5 or 10 Km an hour.At certain speeds, your car can hydroplane, lifting off the ground, and you will be driving on a layer of water. If that happens, don’t panic; just slow down until the car feels normal again.
  • Avoid driving through flooded areas.It will be difficult to gauge the water’s depth. This is dangerous in itself. And if water gets sucked into the air-intake valve and then the engine, the car will probably shut off.
  • Feather the brakes after you’ve driven through a puddle.And make sure you take your foot off the gas. This creates heat and friction, which will help dry the brakes.

If You’re Having Car Trouble:

  • Make sure your car is out of the way of traffic.Pull off the road and put on your hazard lights. Set out flares around your car so it will be clearly visible to other vehicles. Place three at 100, 50, and 25 meters behind the vehicle. Be careful that they aren’t too close to any combustible grass or vegetation.
  • Don’t wander off.It’s easy to lose direction in a storm. Stay with your car until help arrives.
  • Use the floor mats in a pinch.If your tires are stuck in the snow, you can use cat litter, sand, or the car’s floor mats under tires to help gain traction. It’s a good idea to also stow a shovel in trunk so you can dig out the wheels. If the car is buried in snow, it’s crucial to first make sure that the exhaust pipe is exposed. If the pipe is blocked by snow, it can send dangerous carbon monoxide into your car.

Prep Your Car for Bad Weather:

  • Inspect windshield wipers.Replace any that have cracked rubber. If your area gets a lot of rain.
  • Clean headlight covers.When they sit in the sun, they eventually turn yellow and cloudy, and that cuts the amount of light coming from your headlights.
  • Check tire treads.
  • Get your car winter-serviced.This is important if you live in a cold-weather area. It includes adding winter-grade fluids that resist freezing, like antifreeze, oil, and windshield-wiper solution. Also make sure that the levels are topped off throughout the season.
  • Stock an emergency kit.Include road flares, a blanket, a flashlight, jumper cables, a tow rope, an air compressor, duct tape, etc. You may also want to add dry food, water, toilet paper, and warm clothes.

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