Driving Defensively in Harsh Weather Conditions

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As the season is changing, all drivers need to be mindful of the dangerous meteorological conditions approaching during the winter months. Comedy Driving would like to forewarn drivers, of the hazardous driving conditions that will progressively become worse; therefore it is imperative to increase precautions and driving safety techniques.

Certainly, commuting during winter is one of the most challenging of all weather conditions. Drivers can face snow, sleet, rain, fog, icy roads, and other dangerous conditions that can seem menacing to most drivers on the motorways. Before traveling any distance, all drivers need to prepare for contingent conditions as surroundings can be altered in a matter of minutes.

Texas defensive driving course, Comedy Driving, advises all drivers travel with the following items:

  •     Keep at least ½ a tank of gasoline
  •     Flashlight
  •     Extra clothing
  •     Gloves and/or rain gear
  •     Bag of salt or sand – helps eliminate ice on front and rear windshield
  •     Jumper cables – in case of battery failure and may help other drivers
  •     Blankets
  •     Imperishable foods
  •     Water
  •     Cellphone
  •     Maps and an electronic navigation system
  •     Batteries

The holiday season approaching is a time of year in which millions of Americans travel the roadways. Consequently, driving habits must be altered to accommodate these circumstances. If possible, it is best to avoid driving in perilous environments.

First of all, reducing vehicle speed below the posted limit is the best way to avoid an accident during severe weather. In fact, law enforcement may expect and advise motorists to reduce their speed below posted limits or face traffic fines. Remember, the posted speed limit is only a suggested speed during perfect driving conditions and the speed limit can change when the character of the road becomes problematic.

In addition, it is crucial to increase the driving distance between vehicles, while driving, which allows more time for slowing and may prevent an accident. Motorists must recall that the distance it requires for a vehicle to stop is increased in bad weather. Always take into account that the reaction time to apply breaks is 1 ½ seconds. Specifically, the Texas defensive driving course, Comedy Driving, informs their students that it takes a ½ a second to realize the breaks have to be applied, ½ to apply the brakes, and it takes another ½ for the breaking system to work. The speed at which a car is traveling will also depend on how far the car will travel before coming to a complete stop.

Thirdly, from time to time a driver may become relaxed and loosely grasp the steering wheel; however this has proven to be risky because sudden movements of the wheel and/or crevices in the roadway can cause one to suddenly lose control when roads are slippery. Strong winds may cause a vehicle to suddenly swerve or jerk in one direction. Therefore, it is always essential to have a firm grip of the steering wheel. Also, when braking or accelerating please do so as gently as possible to avoid losing control of the vehicle because a spin out can jeopardize the safety of other drivers too.

Last, do not be a distracted driver. Do not drive in harsh weather conditions with a cellphone on one ear. It is extremely important that all attention is on the road. If a passenger is available, have the passage speak on the cellphone if needed. If there is no passenger available, pull over and come to a complete stop.

Comedy Driving, Inc. teaches defensive driving for Texas and a 4 hour Basic Driver Improvement Course for the state of Florida.

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Jeffrey Bitner
Comedy Driving Inc
+1 (713) 465-0042
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