Even the most well-intentioned drivers can be inexperienced and unaware when it comes to driving safely on roads that are adversely affected by inclement weather. Whether it is rain, wet roads, fog, high winds, or anything else, weather can make our roads more dangerous, and it is every driver’s responsibility to adjust their driving accordingly.
Negligent drivers come in many forms, including:
Drivers who are distracted
Drivers who are impaired
Drivers who are fatigued
Drivers who speed excessively or who are otherwise aggressive
Drivers who fail to follow posted road signs, signals, and warnings
The truth is, however, that drivers who do not alter their driving to ensure that they are making the necessary accommodations for the weather’s effects are also guilty of negligence in their efforts to drive safely.
When the weather turns wet or blustery or when it reduces visibility on the road, it is time to slow down. The speed limit is set for ideal conditions, and that means when conditions are not ideal, you need to slow things way down. If visibility is next to non-existent, it is time to get off the road completely. If you cannot see what is ahead of you, you cannot drive safely – period. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, your first line of defense is to slow down accordingly – the worse the weather, the slower your speed should be.
Do Not Crowd Other Vehicles
When the roads are wet or otherwise slippery, stopping distances increase – often dramatically. When the weather is less than ideal, always allow plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Maintain Your Vehicle in Safe Working Condition
Bad driving weather can crop up without a moment’s notice, and your vehicle needs to be ready for it. Balding tires are even more dangerous on slippery roads, and if your brakes are not working optimally, they can contribute to dangerous accidents. While your car should always be maintained in good working condition, it is even more critical in wet weather.
If you are driving, you are likely on a schedule, but this does not mean you should try to make up for lost time. If the weather turns bad with no warning, it is time to accept that you are going to be a bit later than you had planned. If you are expecting bad weather, build the inevitable delay into your plans. The effects of bad weather are not something you can cheat.