Bad Weather Driving Tips
Things to remember when driving in bad weather conditions
1. Don't just carry a cell; pre-program it with important numbers including reliable roadside service providers. Sign up in advance for AAA emergency road service, so you are guaranteed assistance during inclement weather (800-AAA-HELP or your local AAA club number).
2. Know the local AM radio stations, so you can tune in for up to the minute important traffic and weather advisories. Vroom Vroom Vroom loves radio-locator, www.radio-locator.com, which provides a comprehensive list of radio stations around the world. If renting, just ask your rental agent before pulling away.
3. As soon as rain begins, turn on headlights and windshield wipers! Not only is it a critical safety precaution, if visibility is reduced to less than 500 feet it's required by law in many states. And remember; when it's foggy use your low-beams. High-beams reduce visibility in fog.
4. Remember that four-wheel drive helps you get going quicker, but it won't help you stop any faster!
5. For rentals be sure to ask if the car is a front wheel, rear wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle “ Don't know the difference? Here's the details:
- Front wheel drive - the front two wheels pull the car. It handles well because if the front wheels slip the car is more likely to stay in line
- Rear wheel drive - the rear two wheels push the car. When a rear wheel drive car slips, the tail end of the car will often swing, effectively destabilizing the entire car
- Four-wheel drive - all four wheels spin to push/pull the car. Offers increased traction and prevent cars from getting stuck. Best option for snow and ice, but beware it can decrease your sense of how slippery roads are, so ALWAYS drive with caution
6. When traveling in cold weather, keep your car gassed up so that the fuel lines don't freeze.
7. Okay, so we know you learned it when you were 16, but let's all repeat. If your car starts to skid, whatever you do (no matter your impulse), don't hit the brakes! Ease off the accelerator and turn into the direction of the skid.
8. Whether driving in a warm or cold climate, always have a pair of sun glasses in the car, preferable ones with UV protection. You never know when you'll be faced with blinding sun, sometimes it's at its worst when reflecting off snow.
9. When it's raining try to stay in the middle lanes as water tends to pool in the outside lanes.
10. Always make sure your car is equipped with a spare tire, food and water. And very important, when renting a vehicle ALWAYS ask your agent to show you the spare tire before pulling away.