How Can I Stay Safe While Driving in Hazardous Weather?

The winter months often bring harsh weather in New York. This may include sleet, snow, torrential rain, and windy conditions. Whether you are taking a multi-day trip across the East Coast, or you are simply driving to the grocery store, there are several tips you can use to increase your safety in hazardous weather.

Here Are 3 Safe Driving Tips for Harsh Weather Conditions:

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

The best thing you can do is avoid driving in harsh weather at all. However, if you do need to drive in a storm, you should plan your route and have a reliable GPS on hand in case a road is closed. You should also keep tire chains in your vehicle, as well as have jumper cables handy, a flashlight in the glove compartment, and at least a half tank of gas. If you are taking a long trip, let someone know you route and check in with them regularly.

2. Practice Safe Driving Habits

In harsh weather, visibility is often low. This means you should be extra cautious and obey all road signs to reduce your chances of a crash. Safe driving habits include leaving a buffer space between your car and the cars around you, going 5-10 miles per hour under the speed limit, braking or accelerating gradually to decrease your risk of losing traction, and using your headlights. However, you should avoid using your bright beams in fog because the light will cause glare and reduce your visibility.

3. Use Caution on the Road

While driving, you should continually scan the road in front of you for any obstacles, and make sure other drivers know you are there. It is important to give yourself enough time to react to any potential hazards as you drive. The roads may be slippery, and you should avoid making sudden turns or braking sharply if your car starts to slide. Instead, hold tightly onto your steering wheel and gently pump your brakes to prevent them from locking.

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