Driving in inclement weather requires proper vehicle maintenance, pre-trip planning, specific driving skills and the correct driving attitude, according to AAA.
Before you hit the road, Be Mentally Prepared. Leave earlier for your destination, use main roads and arteries whenever possible and expect traffic to travel at a slower pace.
Visibilty is Key:
- Clear off snow and ice from your vehicle before starting your trip
- At intersections, pull up farther to increase visibility
- Switch headlights to low beam to avoid glare
- Avoid using cruise control in wet driving conditions
- Look farther ahead and pay particular attention to "hot spots", bridges, culverts, on and off-ramps and elevated highways. Be alert for "black ice"
- Avoid unusual driving maneuvers that could induce a skid
- If you find yourself beginning to skid, ease up on the accelerator, keep a firm grip on the wheel and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go
Increase Your Distance:
- Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
- Add more space as conditions worsen
- Don't be afraid to shift into a lower gear to reduce speed
- Observe other vehicles to determine existing road conditions
In case of severe inclement weather, make sure you have these 10 essential items in a Winter Survival Kit:
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Booster cables
- Ice scraper
- Small bag of abrasive material, such as sand or cat litter
- Cloth or a roll of paper towels
- Small shovel
- Cell phone
- Can of de-icer
- Warning device, such as flares or reflective triangle
AAA also says don’t leave your Common Sense at home. Before hitting the road, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this trip really necessary?
- Is my vehicle ready for this trip?
- Am I mentally and physically prepared to make this trip?