Thursday, August 17, 2017


Safe on Any Street: The Best Strategies for Driving in the Worst Weather.

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) You have a life to live regardless of the weather. There are kids to drive to school, roads to take to work, and remote errands to complete. However, a significant number of drivers fall victim to wintertime accidents due to weather conditions and the negligent actions of other drivers. A select group remain safe regardless of the inclement of the weather. Here’s how to be one of them.

Spinouts

Most spinouts occur during turns and curves in the road. While some slips seem unavoidable, most spinouts can be missed by slowing down. Slow down well before a turn rather than waiting to hit the brake in the middle of a bend in the road. Moreover, be aware of certain areas that will feature slippery surfaces like a bridge or overpass. Staying aware of one’s speed may be one of the easiest and best ways to remain safe when driving in bad weather.

Snowplows

It’s normal to feel anxious when driving behind a big, slow moving vehicle, such as a snowplow. However, don’t assume the plow driver can see you, and don’t get too anxious to pass unless you’re sure the driver sees you. What’s worse about passing is that the plow is throwing loose snow to the sides, which makes it trickier to get by safely. Sometimes it is safer to just wait it out.

Sticky Spots

You’re lucky if you can avoid getting through the winter season without getting stuck in the snow. However, with a bit of technique, it’s pretty easy to get out of a sticky situation. Start to rock the car back and forth until you generate enough motion to propel out of a stuck position. Furthermore, you may need to dig yourself a pathway for leverage. Pack a small shovel along with other winter needs like a blanket, road flare, dry clothes, etc.

Ice Spots

Black or glare ice is notorious for causing accidents. Unfortunately, such surfaces are hard to detect and the best defense is staying off the roads during emergency conditions. If you find that you are on a patch of ice, do not hit the brakes but slowly take your foot off the accelerator. Find a safe spot to park your car and wait for better driving conditions. Do not pull off to the shoulder of the road, for this is a very unsafe place where other drivers may not see you. If you’re wrongfully injured in a roadside mishap, read about your legal options at www.mbpersonalinjurylaw.com.

Wet Roads

Aside from icy roads, wet roads pose serious danger. However, there are ways to dramatically lessen the chance of an accident. First, realize that your tires have less traction, so increase the distance between other drivers, and give yourself more time to brake at stop lights and signs. Furthermore, be aware that surfaces will be most slick immediately following rainfall. Hydroplaning is the wet condition equivalent to driving on black ice. Similarly, if you feel as if the tires don’t have contact with the road, take your foot off the accelerator and steer toward a safe place.

Changing wiper blades every six months also ensures you’ll have higher visibility.

Snow Tires

Those who live in regions that get a lot of snowy weather may consider investing in snow tires. It’s an added investment, but it shouldn’t take long for a mechanic to switch out the tires in the fall and then again in the spring. Moreover, a pair of snow tires should last for several snowy seasons. It’s not necessary, yet the added traction makes drivers feel safer, as they have more control over road conditions.

Driving at Night

Driving at night is more dangerous for several reasons, lower visibility being the most obvious. Of course, one should account for lower visibility by driving at lower speeds. Moreover, be mindful of using your high beams amid oncoming traffic situations. Do not look directly into the lights of others so as to avoid temporary blindness, a common cause of bad weather accidents. Drunk driving is more prevalent at night. Be mindful of the driving of others. Keep safe distances and don’t hesitate to report erratic driving.

Foggy Conditions

Making road conditions even worse, winter rain, sleet, and snow can be combined with fog, which makes it very difficult to see in time to come to a complete stop. Using high beams in foggy conditions is one of the biggest mistakes made by drivers; it actually decreases one’s ability to see. Use low beam or fog lights along with your regular lights when driving in fog whether it’s day or night.

Staff Writer; Peter Love


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