Friday, April 19, 2013

Safety Tips for Driving in Inclement Weather

Chances are if you turned on the news at some point the other day, you saw the extreme weather that has plagued the state of Illinois and surrounding states. While it was luckily not a fatal or extensively damaging storm, it still rocked the third-largest city in the United States. This increased weather caused countless delays to morning commutes and the roads in general. While flooding cause a great deal of these delays, careless drivers caused their fair share. This prompted us to write this article of helpful tips for when you’re driving in rainy or inclement weather.

Before driving!

Be sure to check your tires before driving in the rain. Bald tires significantly reduce your traction on wet roadways. The best way to check tread on your tires is to use a penny.  When your tires are bald, your car ends up riding on a layer of water just like a boat. 

Use your lights, not your brights!
A lot of time people automatically think to use their brights (bright light setting) when it is raining. This is a common misconception that can end with deadly consequences. First off, water is reflective. So adding more light than necessary will create a glare that will not only blind you but will also blind the oncoming drivers!

Wear sunglasses!
We know that this one sounds pretty crazy, but hear us out for a second! As we said, water is reflective which makes it difficult to see when driving and can cause a glare. Wearing sunglasses can actually reduce this glare and make it easier to see. It also protects your vision from oncoming motorists’ lights.

Don’t rely on auto windshield wipers!
Some newer cars have been graced with the invention of auto detect wipers. While these can be helpful, they can oftentimes be less effective than you choosing your own wiper settings. You know how much you can see better than your car sensor does, use your judgement!

Eliminate distractions!
You should be focused on the road, not on other things. Eliminating anything distracting is a good way to do this. Turn off your cell phone, mute the radio, and ask any passengers in the car to keep all noise to a minimum. When you have all your senses dedicated to driving, you’ll be much safer.

Use caution!
This should be a given, and yet so many people drive like the roads are completely clear. We are not suggesting that you turn your driving dial down to snail-mode, but a little added caution never hurts. Be mindful of other drivers, tap your brakes instead of slamming on them, and always keep an appropriate distance from other vehicles.

Follow these trips and the next time there is a monsoon outside, you’ll view it as merely a sprinkle!

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