The first snow of the season—it was a doozy. Lots of snow, the ever-present black ice to make a commute more treacherous, and frayed nerves. Did you encounter such weather? Additional types of difficult driving conditions can be encountered in the following scenarios:
What driving strategies can you employ to ensure you will arrive safely at your destination? Remember to always drive defensively and follow these common sense guidelines:
- Lower your speed.
- The worse the weather conditions, the more braking distance you will need to safely stop. Reduce your speed to decrease your braking distance.
- Enlarge your following distance.
- On the flip-side of decreasing your vehicle speed is following distance. Increase your following distance to ensure adequate decision-making time to avoid other vehicles or obstacles in the road.
- Headlights on.
- Always be seen by other drivers—turn on your headlights and taillights.
- Use your low-beams. Do not blind other drivers and avoid blinding yourself when driving in heavy snow, fog and rain as they reflect light.
- Windshield wipers on.
- Virginia law requires you to turn on your headlights (and taillights) when your windshield wipers are in use (fully or intermittently).
- No abrupt braking.
- Braking abruptly can be dangerous. It may cause you to lose traction on slick surfaces or on standing water.
- Be patient.
- You will need a healthy dose of patience when driving in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
- Drive defensively.
- Drive defensively, remain courteous on the road, and get to your destination safely.
Do drive safely out there in the dog days of winter.
Happy driving! Drive Safely!