Fall is in full force here in the Midwest and winter will soon be upon us. With the end of warmer weather, we now need to be prepared for wetter road conditions that can lead to more dangerous driving conditions. With temperatures dipping you may experience slicker roads. This can be a challenge to both new and experienced drivers.
Changes in weather can cause multiple issues when you are driving. Some of the problems that occur are:
- Impaired Vision due to heavy rains, fog and blowing snow.
- Vehicle Performance such as lack of traction, stability and maneuverability.
- Road Obstructions in the form of lane submersion from heavy rains, debris in the road from strong winds, icy road conditions and wind-blown snow.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation approximately 21% of all crashes, nearly 1,235,000, are weather-related. To help you successfully navigate the upcoming changes in road conditions we have prepared some tips.
Preparing your vehicle for driving in wet conditions
- Check your tires – Proper tread and tire pressure will significantly increase your traction on wet roads. If your tires are bald have them replaced.
- Windshield wipers – Replace your wipers regularly. This will keep your windows clear and help with visibility issues.
- Turn on you head lights – Rain and snow can cause visibility issues. Headlights will not only help you see what is ahead but will also help other drivers know where you are.
- Use the defrost – Windows tend to fog up during times of high humidity. Running the defrost will keep air moving and clear you windows.
- Keep cold-weather gear in you vehicle – In the event you become stranded be prepared with warm clothing, blankets, extra food and water, window scraper and cell phone.
- Slow down- Adjust your speed for the change in road conditions.
- Maintain a proper following distance – The normal “3 second rule” should be increased in times of inclement weather.
- Accelerate and Decelerate at a slower rate of speed – If you attempt to accelerate or decelerate to fast you are likely to have issues with skidding. Slower acceleration and deceleration will provide better traction.
- Stay toward the middle lanes – Water pools on the edge of the roads and outside lanes. Avoiding standing water will help with traction and prevent hydroplaning.
- Be alert – Watch for brake lights in front of you and watch for debris in the roadway.
Even the safest drivers are at risk for an accident and sometimes those are caused by the negligence of others. We can not prevent an accident from happening but we can make sure you have the coverage you need.
Please contact us today to review your auto coverage.