Here are four ways to stay safe when driving in poor weather conditions:
Be prepared for rain.
When driving in rain, first and foremost, slow down, says Bob Medved, safety expert for State Farm. In addition, make sure your car has tires in good condition. “The tire tread is designed to push water away from the tire,” Medved says. If your tires are bald, they won’t be able to push the water away and you could hydroplane.
If you’re driving through an area that doesn’t get a lot of rain, be wary when a downpour hits. As the rain hits the pavement, it will mix with oil and other buildup on the road, creating slick conditions.
Pay attention to fog.
Fog can reduce visibility to just a quarter of a mile or less, creating hazardous driving conditions, notes Weather.com.
When driving in fog, reduce your speed and turn your lights on low beam. Avoid high beam lights, as these will reflect back off the fog and could make it even harder to see. Then, open your window slightly to listen for traffic you may not be able to see.
Understand the dangers of high wind.
If you’re driving in an area prone to high winds, give yourself extra travel time, as you may need to drive slower than normal, advises the Nevada Department of Transportation.
When traveling through an area with high winds, pay attention to other vehicles on the road. Campers, RVs, trucks and buses are more susceptible to changes in the wind. During a sudden gust of wind, these vehicles could swing out and hit your car. Also, keep an eye out for objects that could blow on to the road, such as broken tree branches.
Bring emergency gear.
Just 9 percent of drivers have all of the essential safety items needed for an emergency in their car, according to a recent State Farm survey. The essential safety items listed in the survey were a spare tire, jumper cables, a hazard triangle or road flares, water, a first aid kid, blanket and flashlight.
In addition to keeping these items in your car, consider bringing additional emergency supplies. Keep a cellphone charger in your car, as well as warm clothing and non-perishable food, such as a protein bar