7 ways to drive more safely in wet weather

“You would think people forget how to drive when it starts raining”

If you’ve never said this, you’ve probably heard it before. The weather impacts so many areas of our lives, it’s hard to get through it without a little disturbance in the usual way of doing things.

With the way the weather has been recently, being on the road has been quite an adjustment adventure, with drivers having to take their driving skills to the next level, and others unearthing driving talents they didn’t know they possessed!

Here are a few tips to getting started on a safer journey, #WhateverTheWeather:

  1. Be visible: Turn on your headlights, and when necessary, your emergency hazards too. Bad weather conditions reduce visibility.
  2. Obey the road rules: Adjusting your driving doesn’t mean adjusting your obedience to road rules. The traffic signs are there to guide the road user and to ensure the safety of road users.
  3. Stay alert and remain focused: Driving in bad weather will require you to drive defensively and thus you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. Avoid all distractions – yes, leave that cell phone alone and even turn down the radio if you have to. In some areas, there may be animals wandering about or escaping from an enclosure with a damaged fence – be aware! Keep both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.
  4. Give yourself space: You could be required to come to a stop all of a sudden - give yourself enough space between the car ahead of you to provision for this and keep you out of harm’s way. Also, keep your eye on the other vehicles to see whether they are safely staying in their lanes, making moves or coming to a stop that will affect you.
  5. Slow down: Braking on a slippery road takes longer bring you to a stop than braking on dry ground. Drive at a speed that will allow you to come to a halt comfortably. Where you can, avoid unnecessary and hasty lane changes or even overtaking where not necessary.
  6. Approach intersections cautiously: In certain weather conditions – actually, in weather - we need to approach intersections with added care. Whatever the weather, don’t make the mistake of assuming that because the light is green for you, your path will be clear – be alert and scan the area for potential hazards.
  7. Be gentle on the pedals: Accelerate and brake as gently as you can. When driving around a bend, go easy with the acceleration to avoid having to brake harshly and potentially losing control of your car. It’s in times like these where being slow comes in handy – you will have more reaction time and control.

Remember, if the trip is not absolutely necessary, and you can afford to wait it out, then rather do so.

Here are more detailed tips for driving in wet weather, and through strong winds and foggy/misty situations, courtesy of Arrive Alive.

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