Confronting bad weather on the road is inevitable. The best medicine is to be informed and proactive in how you cope in unsavory conditions. Storms can strike at any time and the potential for damage is no joke. Keep the following tips and pointers in mind to learn how to drive in bad weather like a pro.
Driving in Snow
Always start off by testing your brakes when driving in snow to discern how long it takes to slow down.
Don’t pump the brakes on slippery surfaces. Use light pressure on the accelerator and if you sense your wheels may start to spin, let your car coast until you regain traction.
Slow your pace when approaching bridges and overpasses. They often freeze up before the rest of the roadways do.
Check to make sure your fluids are topped off—especially windshield wiper fluid. Keep an ice scraper with a brush handy. Anti-freeze is equally important.
Driving in Heavy Rain
Drive with your headlights on in heavy rain fall so other drivers can see you.
Don’t use cruise control or other autonomous Driver’s Assist features in torrential rainfall. Driver’s aids like adaptive cruise control may apply more throttle which can actually exacerbate things.
Keep several car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. This helps a great deal if you unexpectedly have to slow down or stop fast.
Don’t be afraid to pull over in white-out conditions. If you can’t see, you should always put your hazards on and cautiously make your way to the safe place on the shoulder of the road.
Keep a road emergency kit in your car for hazardous conditions. If you have to ride the storm out from a safe distance from the road, it’s always a good idea to have water, snacks, and a fully-charged cell phone with you.
If you live in mountainous parts of the country, be sure to check your local news and weather sources for updates on closed passes. Get your vehicle fitted for snow tires and/or chains when recommended. By following the tips above you should be able to drive in bad weather like a pro—in no time. Also, drop by your local AutoNation dealership to check out all the latest AWD and 4WD vehicles and SUVs available.