In the 1st quarter of 2019, it is estimated that there were at least 276 million cars on the roads daily in the United States alone.
With this many cars congesting the streets, driving in a safe and orderly fashion has never been more important. Even though rules and regulations are already imposed to discipline and guide drivers to safety, at the end of the day, your manner of driving is solely dependent on you.
No matter how good you are at driving, you have to keep in mind that accidents can happen unexpectedly. Most people don’t realize it, but every time you’re on the road, you and other road users are always at risk of danger. Accidents can happen in a split second, but the risk of one happening can always be reduced when drivers comply with safe driving practices.
While setting your phone aside and driving in the right state of mind/condition are good practices for caution, there are some risk increasing factors that you may have less control over. Especially during times of inclement weather like rain, snow, fog, or simply driving in the dark, your senses can be hindered, which greatly increases the chance of accidents occurring.
Cutting to the chase, here are the main risks involved when you drive in bad weather.
The Dangers of Driving in Bad Weather
Did you know that out of 6 million cases of vehicular accidents that happen yearly, a staggering 22% is caused by bad weather?
Many drivers tend to become overconfident and overlook the dangers of driving in bad weather. Rain can block you from seeing the road, snow can diminish your steering and mobility, and even driving at night can put you at risk of getting hit by a sleepy driver.
This is the sort of thing you want to be aware of and address before it’s too late.
As promoters of responsible driving, PureDieselPower wants you to be free from any sort of accident. While staying off the road during these times may be the ideal thing to do, there are scenarios where it really can’t be avoided.
We understand that everybody has jobs to do, people to meet, and places to be. In the case that you really need to travel somewhere despite harsh weather conditions, the best way to keep yourself safe is to adopt bad weather driving best practices.
Check out this infographic below to find out how you can stay safe when driving during bad weather:
Driving Safe in Inclement Weather
One alarming yet important to know fact is that there are more fatalities (approximately 5900 a year) caused by weather-related road accidents than natural disasters such as storms and hurricanes.
According to Staver the average of fatalities of some weather accidents breaks down as follows:
- Snow: 210 341 crashes (739 fatalities)
- Rain: 573 784 crashes (2 732 fatalities)
- Fog: 28 533 crashes (495 fatalities)
Each weather condition has its own specific safety measures and following them accordingly should be enough to minimize the risks involved. As a new driver or even if you already have years of experience under your belt, you should never take your safety for granted.
You can’t control the weather, but we can control how you act upon it. To sum up all the advice we have given, the five main points to keep in mind are the following:
- Use your lights properly – Signal early when turning and avoid blinding other motorists with your high beams. You should also ensure that you’ve got the right headlights and that they’re in good working condition. If not, be sure to check out our selection of truck lighting.
- Take note of your environment – Especially at night, make an extra effort to watch out for people and animals that may be crossing. In the event of a storm, try to find information on the condition of the route you’ll be taking to avoid passing through floods.
- Slow down and control your steering – Wet, icy, and windy roads may cause skidding. Be careful when taking sharp turns and pay attention to the vehicles around you.
- When stopping, apply the breaks slowly – Slowly decelerate and don’t slam your foot on the breaks. Asides from the dangers of slipping, there’s a real risk of getting rear-ended by the car behind when stopping too quickly.
- Maintenance is key – Make sure your car is in good driving condition. Have it checked up before you go out for a long drive (especially during winter) and make sure that you have all the necessary contact information for service hotlines in the case of an emergency.
Other than making use of these safety techniques and tips we’ve provided, taking the time to do maintenance checks should prepare you for any scenario. Here’s a short and sweet checklist to help you out.
- Make sure to clean your headlights to aid your vision
- Especially during wintertime, make sure that your car’s battery and radiator are in the right condition to withstand the cold.
- Check if your tires are in good condition. Make sure they’re free from any punctures and that the tread isn’t too worn down.
- In the worst-case scenario that your car breaks down in the middle of the road, prepare a repair and emergency kit to keep you safe until help arrives.
- Keep your phone fully charged before you head out and take note of the contact numbers of service providers before you head out.
Remember, nothing is more important than your wellbeing.
If you forget the tips we’ve given, just always remember to stay within or below the speed limit.
It’s important to note that regardless of what weather it may be, safe driving greatly emphasizes the importance of maintaining a certain speed. Regardless of your skill level or the current condition of the weather, in the end, driving safely starts by learning how to slow down.
Your skill as a driver can only do so much, especially when your vision and mobility are handicapped. Even with all these tips in mind, it is important to stay wise and reassess your situation before you decide to hit the road.
Make safety your number one priority
You may not be able to control the weather, but you can definitely adapt to it.
In the case of extreme weather conditions, do yourself and your loved ones a favor by staying indoors. If you have any sort of agenda planned, its best to talk to the people involved and encourage them to move it to a later date. Surely your boss, friends, or family will understand the situation you’re in.
Save a copy of this infographic to help you remember and keep these tips in mind. Don’t hesitate to share it especially with your loved ones if they’re always on the go.
Be sure to keep an eye out for new posts on the PureDieselPower Blog.