We all have places to be, but some weather conditions make it just too risky to be on the road. When any of these five conditions strikes, put your safety first and get off the road.
High winds don’t always seem dangerous, but they’re not to be underestimated. Any time you notice debris flying through the air, don’t even think about hitting the road. If you’re already driving, pull over, keep your seat belt on and duck your head below the windows. If you can, cover your head with your hands or a blanket.
There are a number of weather conditions that can cause low visibility. Fog, heavy rain and thick snow are the main culprits. It’s important to see what’s in front of you because if you can’t, you’re likely to hit another car or object. Pull off the road the minute you feel like you’re having a difficult time seeing — don’t wait until you can’t even see well enough to pull over! Make sure your car is completely off the roadway and then turn off your lights. Cars tend to follow taillights in low-visibility conditions, so leaving yours on while you’re parked at the side of the road is just inviting an accident.
Icy conditions are nothing to mess with. You can’t see ice on the road, so there’s no way to really be prepared for it. If you know that your area is currently expecting a freeze, stay off the roads. The first sign of ice on the roads is finding that making a turn requires much less actual turning of the wheel. When that happens, it’s time to start looking for a parking spot. Don’t be overconfident if you have a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Four tires slipping on ice are no better than two!
If you live in an area with snowy winters, you know that some driving through snow is inevitable. Try to avoid it, though, if the snow is particularly high or if the roads have not yet been plowed.
Heavy rain can lead to flooded roadways very quickly. If rain is so heavy that it greatly reduces visibility or causes flooding, stay off the roads. If you must be on the roads, drive very slowly. Hitting a flooded area at high speed is a lot like having an accident at high speed — the impact is huge. Watch out for water that is higher than the bottom of your doors since driving into such water could be very damaging to your car’s electrical system. Also watch out for moving water, which could sweep both you and your car away in an instant. If you encounter either of these conditions, it’s time to turn around.