Staying Safe During Inclement Weather
Winter brings shorter days and inclement weather, making for harsh driving conditions, especially those driving in the early evening hours during times of precipitation. Before getting in your car, you may want to check your local weather forecast and road conditions. If things aren’t completely clear, you may want to leave early and allow for extra time. You may also want to consider an alternate route.
If you are out on the road in inclement weather, it’s a good idea to drive at a reduced speed and keep a longer driving distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in the event of sudden stopping. Slippery roads may make it harder to stop as quickly as desired. Also, even though you’ll be traveling the same speed on the same road for a long distance, you may want to forego the cruise control, as you may need to stop suddenly or go around an ice patch.
Be sure to have to have a charged cell phone with you in the event of an emergency. Though, you should not be using it to make calls or to text while you are behind the wheel, especially in already impaired conditions, it can be a life saver if you become stranded. If you do find yourself in that unfortunate situation, stay inside your vehicle while you wait for help to arrive. Attempting to cross a highway can be very dangerous. Tying a brightly colored piece of clothing or piece of fabric to the window or antennae will signal to other drivers that you are in distress. If possible, move over to a shoulder, so that you are not blocking emergency vehicles. If you are stuck at night, keep your interior dome light on, so that emergency responders will be able to recognize your vehicle.
The best way for drivers to deal with extremely inclement weather is to avoid the roads all together. However, if this is not an option, please be sure to take your time and plan for an emergency. Don’t forget, the buddy system always works best in emergencies.