Driving Under Difficult Conditions
Driving Under Difficult Conditions
Safe driving on the highway
- Always observe highway speed limits.
- Activate your turning signal well in advance before changing lanes.
- Avoid sudden or erratic steering or you may lose control of your car and roll over.
- Take regular breaks. Don't drive while tired.
Safe driving at night
- Give your eyes some time to adjust to the light and shadows.
- Tilt your rear view mirror slightly to reduce the dazzling effect of the car headlights behind you. If your rear view mirror has the option, switch to night setting.
- Don't look directly at the headlights from cars travelling in the opposite direction.
- Don’t drive too fast: visibility is reduced at night, making it hard for you to see the road ahead.
Safe driving in fog
Visibility deteriorates in fog:
- Turn on your low beam headlights and fog lights.
- Reduce your speed and refrain from passing other vehicles.
- Leave enough time to react in an emergency by keeping a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Safe driving in wind
- Reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop at any time.
- Close all windows. An open window can attract airborne particles like dust that can affect visibility.
- Keep an eye out for obstacles or debris being blown onto the road.
- Be aware that people may not hear your horn during strong windy conditions.
- If you’re carrying cargo on your vehicle, make sure it’s tied down securely.
- Be very careful passing taller vehicles especially in exposed areas or on bridges.
Safe driving in mountain areas
- Prior to setting off, check your brakes; test them and check the brake fluid.
- Carry the tools necessary in case you break down (for a full list see Precautions and Emergencies).
- Check the condition of your spare tire: the appropriate pressure is especially important.
- Carry extra food, appropriate clothing, and emergency aids.
- Check the weather and road conditions in the mountain area and choose your route wisely.
- Tell at least one other person where and when you are travelling and when you are due back so they can alert emergency services If you don't return on time.
- Blow your horn in advance if your view is blocked during cornering.
- Drive carefully and slow down in turns, especially when your view is blocked.
- Never speed or pass in sharp turns where you may not see oncoming vehicles.
Safe driving in mud
Simple ways to decide if you can get across the mud:
- When there’s heavy mud on the road or if you’re driving off-road, stop your vehicle and inspect the hardness and depth of the mud before driving through it.
- Observe tire tracks of other vehicles to gauge the depth and consistency of the mud.
- Determine the type of vehicles that have left the tracks from the sizes and widths of the track. Use that information as a reference to decide if you can get across.
Safe driving on ice and snow
- Drive with two hands. Always.
- Before turning, slow down while traveling in a straight line.
- While turning, maintain a slow and regular speed. If you accelerate suddenly, your tires could lose traction.
- While turning, don’t make any sudden steering wheel movements.
- Only brake in a straight line before the turn, and do so gradually. Do not brake during the turn.
- Increase your following distance from other cars significantly.
- If your wheels lock and slide, release the brake pedal to recover traction, then slowly brake again.
- Try to avoid changing lanes in slush. It’s safer to change lanes when slush is not on the road.
- If using chains, check for proper clearance between the tire and the vehicle, as well as the clearance between dual tires.
Want to learn more on winter conditions?