Driving always involves some element of danger. You are, after all, in control of a two-tonne metal contraption hurtling along roads at speeds of up to seventy miles an hour. However, there are times when driving is more dangerous than others.
Hazardous conditions can make driving much more perilous, even for the most experienced drivers. Ice, wind and rain not only affects the surface of the road, but also your visibility, meaning extra caution is a must. If you do experience tricky conditions when on the road, here’s what to do.
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Avoid the roads, if you can
If the weather forecast suggests that there will be ice on the roads, or even heavy rainfall, then it’s worth considering whether your journey can be rescheduled. If possible, you should always try to minimise the risks involved when on the road and if this means avoiding driving altogether then you should. Of course, sometimes a journey cannot be avoided and other times unexpected weather can leave with little choice.
What to do when things get wet
At times of high rainfall, the most likely source of danger to you and your vehicle is hydroplaning. This occurs when a thin layer of water separates the tyres from the road and can result in you losing control of your vehicle. If you feel that your car is starting to hydroplane, avoid harsh braking or accelerating, remain calm and continue to steer your vehicle in the desired direction. Instead, gradually try to reduce your speed and avoid sharp turns. Also, checking the tread and inflation of your tyres before travel will also reduce the likelihood of your car hydroplaning.
Ice on the roads
Winter driving conditions can be amongst the most treacherous, which is why it’s hugely important that you know how to deal with icy roads. The overall stopping distance of your car should be multiplied by ten when conditions are icy, demonstrating just how much extra care should be taken.
What’s more, braking harshly is not advised as this could increase the likelihood of skidding. Instead, drive much slower than you would normally and avoid steep inclines. Also, before you start your journey, make sure you’ve cleared all ice from your front and rear windows to ensure good visibility.
Dealing with an accident
If an accident does occur involving yourself and another driver, hazardous conditions can make it difficult to determine culpability. If you’re in need of professional support, a free phone consultation with a team of car accident lawyers could bring some clarity to the situation and help you better understand what comes next. Hopefully, it won’t come to this, but it’s always better to be prepared for every eventuality.
The most effective way of dealing with dangerous conditions is to stay calm. If you start to lose control, try to reduce your speed gradually while keeping a firm hold of the steering wheel. What’s more, keep a careful watch on other drivers who may be struggling in the conditions. Give them extra room if necessary and sound your horn if it seems like they are heading for a collision with your vehicle.