What to Do when Driving in Bad Weather

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Last week, the first week of spring, Houston was hit with a sudden hail storm that caused damage to businesses, homes and left some commuters with nowhere to go until the storm stopped. Here is a simple list from Comedy Driving of what drivers may want to do when caught in a storm or bad weather.

Comedy Driving, Inc. believes the best way to predict bad road weather is to simply watch the news before getting on the road. For those already on the road, tuning in to local radio stations is a great way for up to date and almost minute to minute updates. Whenever there is bad weather approaching the commute, the first thing to do is to assess its distance and if possible try to drive around it or try to get off the road before getting caught in it.

    Once caught in the storm one must evaluate the situation ahead. For example, is it safe to proceed into the storm? Getting caught in a light drizzle is a “no brainer,” of course it is going to be safe to precede forward. The questions is, is it safe to maintain the current speed of the vehicle? It is best to slow down the speed of the vehicle. Roads are slicker when they are first wet because this is the period when the water starts to mix with oil and other chemicals that may be on the road.

    If the rain really starts coming down it is wise to turn on your headlights or daylights and windshield wipers to the proper speed to better the view ahead. If these efforts do not improve the view of the road then slowing down the vehicle may be necessary to safely travel the road. Remember, the speed limit advertised on the road is the speed limit recommended in perfect driving conditions. If the road conditions are not perfect, then it is ok to slow down below the speed limit.

In some extreme examples, it may be necessary to bring the vehicle to almost a complete stop. For those instances, make sure the vehicle is pulled into a location away from the main lanes incase emergency vehicles need to get through. The shoulder lane may be used in this instance as well, but be sure the vehicle does not block any part of the road and turn on the emergency lights to be visible to others.

Never try to cross through an underpass or body of water that appears to be shallow. Always look for street indicators that display the depth of water whenever the road may appear to be partially submerged. Do not stop a vehicle once it is partially submerged in water; if possible keep the vehicle moving. It is also very important that no vehicles ever attempt to go through a moving body of water. It only takes about 2 feet of water to carry away a vehicle.

If a vehicle has sustained damage from water it is always wise to have it checked by a mechanic to ensure the vehicle does not have damages which will inhibit the car from traveling safely. Finally, do not wait to report weather damage to the insurance company.

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Jeffrey Bitner
Comedy Driving Inc
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