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How to Drive in Bad Weather

When it comes to weather, Texans understand how severe and harsh climate conditions can be. One day it will be 80-degrees and sunny and the next, ice will be lacing the streets during a 22-degree frost storm. So, how does this affect driving conditions? It’s important to be prepared when you hit the streets during a storm. Here are some tips and refreshers in how to drive in bad weather.

  1. Windy
    1. Anticipate gusts – Gusts will catch you off guard in a moments notice. There are items that can be blown onto the road or simply jolt your car. Be aware and ready for random winds that can bring unsolicited danger your way.
    2. Firm Grip on the wheel – During a wind storm, keep a firm grip on the wheel to ensure you keep control of your car or truck. Drive with a steady hand and keep calm.
    3. Notice larger vehicles – Always be aware of large vehicles on the road. Semi-trucks are more likely to be knocked over by a strong gust of wind. Keep your eye on the road and anticipate large vehicles to keep you, your family, and your car safe!
  2. Heavy Rain
    1. Slow down at least 5 mph – Drive at least 5mph below the speed limit during heavy rain to avoid hydroplaning. If you are caught in a hydroplane, lift your foot off the pedal and steer in the direction you’d like to go. This technique is called “steering into the skid.” Learn more about what to do during a hydroplane here.
    2. Plan your route – This might seem like a simple driving tip, but it’s important to avoid flooded areas by planning your route ahead of time. Drive with caution and try to avoid areas with heavy rain to prevent hydroplaning.
    3. Feather brakes after you’ve driven through a puddle – Take your foot off the gas and lightly tap on the brake after you have driven through a puddle. This will help dry the brake as you continue to drive.
  3. Fog
    1. Fog lights- Fog lights are yellow, which are made to cut through the thick fog. Turn on the fog lights to help maneuver through an unpredictable fog.
    2. Slow Down – Just like in every scenario, it’s important to watch your speed. When you approach a hill, decrease your speed to be careful you don’t hit another car.
    3. Pump brakes – Brake lights will help signal to others to back off during a foggy drive.
  4. Snow and Ice
    1. Slow Down – Reduce your car’s speed down about 10mph below the speed limit.
    2. Avoid Tailgating – Stay about 100 yards away from the car in front of you to make sure you have enough space to brake suddenly.
    3. Don’t brake during a turn – Breaking during a turn can cause a spinout on icy roads.
    4. Black Ice – Black ice is one of the most terrifying byproducts of ice storms and snow.
    5. Turn into a skid- When you skid, remain calm. Take your foot off the brake and gas pedal. Turn the wheel into the direction the car is skidding. E.g. if you slide to the right, gently turn the steering wheel to the right to cancel out the skid.

There are thousands of different situations that can occur while you are on a drive. Whether you are running to the gas station around the corner or going on a long road trip, it’s important to prepare yourself. Keep informed about how to drive in bad weather to ensure optimum safety for you and your family!

 

If you have any questions about how to drive in bad weather or our auto repair services, give us a call.