Beginner Tips For Driving In Poor Road And Weather Conditions

September 9th, 2022 by

Driving becomes problematic when the seasons change.

Driving too fast and following too closely are the most common causes of collisions in winter and early spring. We sometimes forget that stopping on roads with slush, ice, or snow takes longer.

New to driving? Check out the following beginner tips or share them with a forgetful friend for a reminder on safe driving methods in poor road and weather conditions.

Watch your speed

On roads and highways, speed limit signs display the top speed permitted under perfect road and weather conditions. When driving in less-than-ideal conditions such as on wet, slick, slushy, or snow-covered roads or in the rain, snow, or fog, you should:

  • Reduce your speed and go more slowly.
  • Drive at a speed that allows you to keep control of your car safely.
  • Never use the cruise control on slick or wet surfaces.
  • Slow down if your visibility is compromised.
  • Never pass on the right when approaching equipment used for highway maintenance.

While this may seem like obvious, go-to advice, you’d be surprised by the number of collisions (and resulting traffic) that could be avoided by following them even slightly.

Leave some space

Compared to driving on dry pavement, stopping your car on soft or loose snow can take up to three times as long, and stopping it on icy winter roads can take up to 12 times as long.

Keeping a minimum of 3 seconds between you and the car you are following can help you determine how much distance to maintain between your vehicle and the one in front of you:

  • Take a look at the car in front of you.
  • Start counting when the back of that car passes a fixed object like a sign, tree, or road marking (one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two, one-thousand-and-three).
  • You are following too closely if the front of your car passes the item before you have finished counting.
  • Slow your vehicle down and count once more. You must set up your three-second following distance if someone cuts in front of you.
  • The three-second rule will need to increase when driving on low traction surfaces. The only exception is for drivers of large commercial vehicles who should use a minimum 4-second following distance in traffic.

This sounds boring at first, but it will become second nature before you know it. You won’t even have to count in your head as you will be able to measure time and distance more accurately.

Stopping in traffic

When stopping in traffic, always look for ways to move out of the way when needed.

  • Leave at least one vehicle space between you and the vehicle stopped in front of you. This will protect you from sliding into it if the road surface happens to be more slippery than you anticipated.
  • Leave some space if you get stuck behind a stalled vehicle in traffic or rear-ended by another car.
  • Always proceed with extra caution when stopping behind a large vehicle going uphill.

Before you hit the road

  • Be prepared and dress for the weather conditions, even if you are travelling just a few blocks.
  • Clear your windshield, lights, and windows to give you proper visibility.
  • Keep your gas tank full. A less-than-full tank is at greater risk of condensation and may cause gas-line freezing.

Ready up

Adjusting your driving habits for poor weather or roads is just one of many skills all drivers need to protect themselves and others behind the wheel.

You also need an excellent car to help you follow these guidelines for driving in challenging road and weather conditions.

House of Cars can help you with that. We have a wide variety of vehicles for sale, including cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks in the Lethbridge area.

House of Cars, aside from being voted the number one used car dealer five years in a row, we pride ourselves on our ability to help those individuals out via our Credit Rebuilding Program.

It doesn’t matter if you have good or bad credit; we’ll get you into the pre-owned car you want at a price you can afford.

Find the best cars for sale for you by getting in contact with House of Cars Lethbridge.

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Posted in Tips