Wind, rain, fog, sleet and snow are common factors that compromise a driver’s reaction time, steering control and visibility. Learning how to operate your vehicle safely in all weather conditions is vital to protect yourself and others while on the road. The experts at Tri-Star Insurance in San Diego recommend the following five safety tips for traveling in unfavorable weather.
1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Severe Weather
Properly maintaining your vehicle is the first step you can take to ensure your safety in extreme weather. Properly inflate your tires and check their pressure. If the treads are worn, have your tires changed. Get worn brake pads replaced and pay for a full tune-up. If your car is in excellent condition, it will safely and easily navigate slick, slippery or otherwise challenging terrain.
2. Keep a Safe Distance Between You and Other Drivers
Even a small amount of moisture on the road can significantly impact your stopping distance and reaction time. Whenever possible, keep at least 100 yards between you and other drivers while on the freeway, especially during wet weather. On city roads, maintain a distance of two to three car lengths. You’ll still have ample opportunity to see the taillights of cars in front of you and this will give you plenty of time to react to unexpected incidents.
3. Beware of Black Ice
Black ice creates a crystal-clear glaze on the roads that’s difficult to spot. Your headlights will reflect off of these slick surfaces at night, making them easier to identify. You need to be extra vigilant to locate and respond to black ice in areas with tall buildings, dark shadows, and on bridges. These areas and structures are more likely to trap cold air and create the freezing conditions necessary for the formation of black ice. Travel at modest speeds and start slowing down several hundred feet before stoplights and signs when traveling over or near icy surfaces.
4. Pump Your Brakes Before Entering Heavy Fog
Pumping your brakes before entering into a thick haze of fog gives drivers behind you a heads-up of your location. Waiting too long to pump your brakes will increase your likelihood of being rear-ended. You should also make sure your fog lights and/or low beams stay on until these conditions clear.
5. Plan Your Routes Accordingly
Inclement weather is the best reason to change up your daily commute. This is especially true during times of torrential rains when roads are heavily flooded. Accurately gauging the depth of floodwaters from the driver’s seat may not be possible, and if you accidentally drive your car through a flooded road, water can enter the engine and you could wind up stranded. Plan accordingly and ensure you have a plan B!
Before you find yourself in any traffic accident, caused by poor weather or the like, be sure to have the right coverage. Contact Tri-Star Insurance at 619-272-2100, where our reliable agents can provide hassle-free, no-obligation quotes for our cheap San Diego car insurance. We won’t rest until we find the right coverage for you. Call us today!