Many drivers underestimate the dangers of driving in adverse weather conditions or when they are tired. Both scenarios can result in tragic accidents. This is especially true if you have never encountered bad weather on the road before, like heavy rain or snow. In fact, you may want to consider practicing how to handle adverse weather ahead of time. It’s important to know the warning signs of a dangerous driving condition so that you pull off the road in time.
Unfortunately, many drivers don’t realize how dangerous it is to drive while they are tired until it’s too late. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the majority of sleep related crashes occur in the early morning hours of the night when people are most likely to feel the drowsiest. However, sleep deprivation can occur at any time of the day or night. This is why it’s very important pay attention to the signals that our bodies give us.
There are a few tell-tale warning signs that can indicate whether or not a person is safe to drive. For example, the inability to recall what actions you took while driving during the past several minutes is one of the biggest signals that you should stay off the road until you have had some sleep. Additionally, following other cars too closely, forgetting to use turn signals, and braking too quickly at stops that you should have seen coming. If you find that your thoughts are constantly wandering while you’re at the wheel, or you can’t stop yawning, then it’s probably a good idea to pull over at the next available spot to take a nap.
- It’s better to avoid the road when you know that you haven’t had enough sleep to drive safely.
- It only takes over correcting a wrong turn once to end up in an emergency situation.
- AAA Foundation
- Driving in Bad Weather
- Keeping Employees Safe on the Road
- Drowsy Driving
- Fatigued Driving
- Drowsy Driving Prevention
- Crash Information
Coffee and other energy supplements give people a false sense of security when it comes to driving while tired. This is especially true for individuals that are heavy caffeine drinkers because it will take significantly more coffee to induce a feeling of alertness. The same can be said about other tricks to help stay awake while driving, like putting on cold A/C, rolling down the window or turning up the radio loud. These may all work for a few minutes, but eventually you’ll just start drifting off again which places everyone on the road with you, including yourself, at risk for a fatal accident.
Similar to driving while tired, driving during bad weather can easily lead to disaster if you aren’t prepared. For example, many people don’t remember to check the condition of their windshield wipers on a regular basis. Unfortunately, if the wipers aren’t in optimal condition once it starts to rain heavily, then your visibility will be greatly decreased – even more so than it would be with just the rain. This presents a risk of running off the road, entering the opposite traffic lane, or rear ending the car in front of you unintentionally.
- Don’t forget to watch out for puddles because it may also have hidden road damage underneath it – like a pothole.
- Your car can hydroplane even on small areas of water.
- Teens and Drowsy Driving
- Winter Safety Tips
- Winter Driving
- Winter Preparation
- Handling Flood Waters
- Fog Safety Tips
The best way to stay safe in adverse weather conditions is to remain off the road until they clear up. However, this isn’t always an option, especially if you are already on the road driving before the bad weather starts. In this case, the next best scenario is to pull off the road once you find a safe place and wait out the storm. If this is not an option during a heavy rain storm, then ensure the wipers are functional, your headlights are on, and that you are going under the speed limit. Snow, fog and floods also present a very real risk in addition to heavy rain.
All three make it very dangerous to be on the road, which is why it’s crucial to stay informed about inclement weather changes. If you are caught driving when it starts to snow, then make sure you have the correct snow tires and chains fitted to your vehicle, and that you slow down to compensate for longer stopping times. Floods can usually be avoided by refraining from driving in areas that are known to flood. Fog is incredibly dangerous because it can reduce your visibility to zero, which makes it impossible to drive safely. If you can’t avoid fog, ensure your fog lights are on and try to find the nearest safe point to stop until visibility improves.
- The first places to freeze in a snow storm are bridges and overpasses, which incidentally are where a large portion of winter storm accidents occur.
- Never try to drive through a flooded section of the road; it only takes 6 inches of water to wash away a vehicle.
- Facts about Fog
- Driving in Rain
- Driving in Adverse Weather
- Flood Facts
- Introduction to Flooded Conditions
- Driving in Bad Weather