DRIVING IN ADVERSE CONDITIONS

Failure to adjust to adverse conditions is a major factor in accident causation. The adverse conditions most frequently encountered cause reduced traction and reduced visibility. Reduced traffic conditions include rain, snow, ice, slush, and gravel. Reduced visibility conditions include rain, snow, ice, slush, and gravel. Reduced visibility conditions include twilight, darkness, rain, snow, and fog. Drivers should not only develop the skills and judgment necessary to keep their own vehicle safely under control, they should also try to anticipate and be prepared to compensate for errors other drivers make during such poor driving conditions.

Reduced traction conditions:

  • Increase following distance enough to avoid a rear-end collision if other drivers brake hard.
  • Use moderation in judging safe speed. Slow down to maintain a safe stopping distance.
  • Apply brakes gently and steer without jerky movements.
  • Beware when running empty or bobtailing. Lightly loaded wheels lock up easily during braking and this can induce jackknifing.
  • Beware of traveling too slowly on slick, banked curves. The vehicle might slide sideways into opposing traffic or off the road.

Reduced visibility conditions:

  • Use moderation in judging safe speed. To maintain a safe stopping distance during reduced visibility, slow down, but not so much you become a hazard to drivers behind. Keep vehicle clean, especially headlights, windshield, tail lights. Use emergency flashers in extreme conditions.
  • Be prepared to get off the road and wait for conditions to improve if necessary.