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Bad Weather Driving Tips

Cars stuck in a heavy traffic due to the bad weather

Driving in bad weather can be challenging, and sometimes it is just better to avoid traveling during these times. If travel is unavoidable, VroomVroomVroom has put together a few tips to help you drive safely in difficult weather conditions. 

Slow down

The most important thing to do when driving in bad weather is to reduce your speed. Rainy and snowy conditions can make the surface of the road extra slippery, which can cause a vehicle to lose its traction and spin out of control. You can avoid this by slowing down and avoiding any heavy breaking or sharp turns. On wet roads, it is advised that you reduce your speed by at least 10 miles, and by half in snowy conditions. Remember that shady places like overpasses are more prone to ice. The first half hour after it starts raining is often when the road is most slippery. 

Make sure you are visible

If you're driving in foggy, snowy or rainy conditions without much visibility, it is important to use your headlights on low beam. A good rule is to turn on your headlights if you need to use your windshield wipers. Do not use your high beam headlights as the reflections can make you more difficult to see. 

Focus on the road ahead

In hazardous conditions, it is more important than ever to stay focused and keep your eyes on the road. Do not use your mobile phone or try to look at a map. It is important that you pull over first. Allow plenty of time to make your journey and stop once at least every two hours. 

Avoid flooded areas

If you see safety barriers marking a flooded area, do not drive past them. Even if there are no barricades, remember that the water may be deeper than it looks and this can damage your car's engine. Find an alternative route. 

Use snow chains if required

Make sure you drive with snow chains if required. If you end up caught in a snow storm, it is important to remain with your car as you will have a greater chance of being found. 

Be prepared

Pre-program your cellphone with important numbers like the AAA emergency road service. Car rental companies can provide you with this information. You should also familiarize yourself with the local AM radio stations so you can tune in to important weather and traffic updates. Also remember to take sunglasses with UV protection. Sometimes the sun is at its worst when it is reflecting off snow. 

Familiarize yourself with your rental car

Be sure to ask if your car is a front wheel, rear wheel or four wheel drive vehicle if you are insure. 

  • 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

Read more of our USA driving tips, and find out more details about toll roads.