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Safety Tips for Driving in Bad Weather 

Prepare Before You Drive in Bad Conditions

Making sure you stay safe when the weather gets bad is the top priority. If you’re about to get on the road, it’s important to check the weather and plan accordingly. Here is a checklist for you to remember before getting on the road in bad weather: 

  1. Plan your route ahead of time. If you decide to get on the road during bad weather, make sure to allow more time to get to your destination and reduce your speed on wet roads. 
  1. Before you leave, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and you’re prepared for the weather conditions you will be driving in. It’s important on slick, wet roads that your brakes and tires are in good condition and responsive.  
  1. Finally, a quick safety tip is to always allow more space than normal between you and other vehicles when driving in inclement weather. Three to five seconds is recommended under normal driving conditions, but the National Weather Service recommends increasing that “significantly” in bad weather (NSC).

Prepare before you leave home, stay aware of changing weather conditions, and give yourself and other drivers space on the road to navigate safely to your destinations when the weather is bad. 

Know What to do if You’re Driving Near a Tornado

There are a few simple rules to follow when you find yourself out on the road during a tornado. Driving in tornadoes is never safe. Here are three quick tips for safe driving:  

  1. Know you cannot outrun a tornado. The tornado’s path is unpredictable and it can easily reach speeds faster than your vehicle can travel.  
  1. If you see a funnel cloud when you’re on the road, pull over and stay low. It is not safe to stay in your vehicle in the case of a tornado, because you can easily be lifted from the ground by the wind.  
  1. Finally, seek low ground or a ditch as quickly as possible. Do not seek shelter under overpasses or bridges – these do not provide protection from the high winds and force of the tornado.  

Drive Slowly on Flooded Roads

Floods on the road can come out of seemingly nowhere and are completely unpredictable. If you find yourself driving in flood conditions, the National Weather Service recommends “turn around don’t drown” (NWS). Stay safe on the road in wet conditions and be prepared for the situation to change quickly and unpredictably!

Turn around. Don’t drown.

The national weather service

Quick Tips for Driving in Floods

  1. It’s never a good idea to drive on flooded roads, so if possible, go back the way you came to higher ground. It doesn’t take much water at all to be a very, very big problem on the road.  
  1. Do not enter flood water more than 4 inches deep when you are in your car. It’s impossible to tell when the water will become deeper or what the condition of the road underneath is.  
  1. If you are driving in flood conditions, make sure you go as slow as possible to avoid causing a wave of water in front of your vehicle. Remember, your safety while driving in bad weather conditions is more important than getting to your destination, so always be prepared to take an alternative route.  

Safety Tips for Driving in Inclement Weather

Weather conditions on the road can change quickly and you need the latest information as the situation develops. You need to be prepared to pull over at any time while you’re driving in bad weather. No one wants to find themselves on the road in bad weather, but if you do, here are a few tips for staying safe: 

  1. Turn on a local radio station so you can know immediately if there are tornado or flash flood warnings in your area. Knowing what to do to stay safe when you’re driving in inclement weather is so important.  
  1. In many wet and rainy weather situations on the road, using your low fog lights instead of your high beam headlight can help with visibility as the brighter lights will reflect off the wet roads and cars more easily. 
  1. Be prepared at all times to change your course or turn around if weather conditions change and your safety is compromised. Stay safe in bad weather while you’re driving by being prepared and staying aware!