Safe Driving Tips For Bad Weather

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We all hope for perfect road conditions and clear, sunny days whenever we go out for a drive but with winter approaching in NSW, the chances are that it will rain, sleet, possibly hail and even snow over the winter months.

Being prepared for bad-weather driving is a smart decision. Even slightly-poor weather conditions contribute to a large number of car accidents. So, it’s important to know how to drive safely in all types of weather.

Here are some vehicle maintenance and safe-driving tips to help you and your family travel safely and avoid an accident, especially in bad weather.

Inspect And Maintain Your Vehicle

  • Check your tyres for excess wear in the treads. The “treads” are the patterned grooves on the surface of the tyre that come in-contact with the road. If the treads are worn and become too shallow, the tyres may be dangerous to drive on. You risk having a dangerous tyre-blowout or skidding out-of-control because your tyres cannot grip the road surface.
  • Inspect your wiper blades for wear. If you’ve ever driven with even slightly-worn wiper blades, you know how dangerous it is. When the blades are worn, heavy rain can block your view. Don’t wait for the sudden downpour to discover that your wiper blades don’t work. Change your blades on a regular basis.
  • Make sure all of your lights are in working order. Headlights and brake lights that don’t work can cause deadly accidents. Without functioning brake lights, a driver behind you won’t know if you are stopping and may rear-end you at a high speed. Without functioning headlights, an oncoming car might make a turn across your path. In either situation, you may be liable for failing to properly maintain or illuminate your lights.
  • Consider driving with your lights on even during the day. Keep the glass or plastic coverings clean. Vehicles using day-running lights are far less likely to be in an accident. Using your lights every time you drive, makes it easier for other drivers to see you in almost every situation.

Adjust Your Driving Habits

  • Reduce your speed in bad weather regardless of the size of your vehicle. The amount of time and the space you need to stop, increases on wet and icy roads. This is because your car may aqua-plain in these conditions. Your tyres are not making contact and gripping the road.
  • Foggy conditions can appear out of nowhere. Many car accidents that occur in foggy conditions are large pile-ups because the first driver brakes suddenly when hitting the fog. The cars behind are usually following too close and cannot stop on time to avoid hitting the one in front. Instead, try to slow down and turn on your flashers. This warns drivers behind you of dangerous conditions ahead.
  • Remember some of those long forgotten tips from driver’s education class to help you avoid accidents.
    • Slow down before a curve in the road. Braking while driving too fast in a curve can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
    • If your car is skidding to the left, turn your wheels to the left. If you’re skidding to the right, turn to the right. It’s counter-intuitive, but correct.
    • Remember “black ice?” Especially if you are driving over the mountains. It’s almost impossible to see. So in winter, assume there is black ice especially when driving in country NSW.
    • Don’t drive through large puddles of water or through flooded roads. These can be deeper than you think and your car could stall or even be washed off the roadway.

Be Vigilant to Stay Safe

Road fatalities in NSW are up significantly compared to the same time last year. With holiday and vacation season just around the corner, we encourage you to be alert, adjust your driving to the weather conditions. Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound and enjoy a safe drive.

If you are in a car accident, try to safely pull your car off the road. Turn on your hazard lights and if you are carrying them, deploy your hazard signs. Don’t wander too far from the vehicle in stormy weather. You are safer staying with the vehicle until help arrives.

If you are injured in a car accident, contact Taylor & Scott as soon as possible after a car accident. We are Sydney’s leading and most experienced personal injury lawyers and have been been helping injured clients since 1905.

One of our motor vehicle accident lawyers will be happy to provide a no-obligation free initial assessment of your case, drawing on the firm’s century of legal experience.

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