Driving in inclement weather is inevitable, especially in unpredictable Maryland weather. Taking precautions is essential to ensure the safety and others on the road. Here are some tips to prepare you for a safe trip.
Before you start driving, take these things into consideration:
- Plan Ahead: Having apps such as Google Maps or Waze handy is essential to plan your commute. These maps help you see traffic patterns, closed roads, tolls, and any other hazards ahead. Waze even has a feature that tells you when to leave to arrive on time, despite weather conditions. Regardless, you should always give yourself extra time to avoid rushing on slippery roads!
- Have an Emergency Road Kit Handy: It’s always important to keep emergency safety kits in your car, especially as the roads become hazardous. It could take a while for roadside safety to arrive in the event of an accident, so it is always good to be prepared. This kit should include a first-aid kit, pencil and paper, water and snacks, and jumper cables.
Once you’re on the road, here are some tips to get you to your destination safely:
- Safety on the Road: Even light showers can make the roads slippery. Make sure you are accelerating and decelerating more gradually than you would in dry conditions. Traveling at a slower speed decreases your chances of rear-ending someone due to skidding brakes. Be mindful when driving on slick pavement. It’s better to be late than to get into an accident.
- Pull Over: In a storm, seeing just a few feet in front of you may be difficult. Storms are unpredictable and can escalate quickly, creating a hazardous environment. If you can’t see the car in front of you, put on your emergency indicator lights and pull over to the nearest safe shoulder of the road.
- Stay Calm: If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, the last thing you want to do is panic, worsening the situation. Instead of slamming on your brakes, take your foot off the gas and allow your vehicle to slow down. Keep a steady grip on the steering wheel, which will help your vehicle regain traction and give you more control.
- Turn Around Don’t Drown: Six inches of water can reach the bottom of most cars, causing a loss of control of your vehicle. A foot of water can carry a small car. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs and trucks. If you encounter hazardous conditions, the smartest thing to do is turn around.
Consider these tips the next time you are stuck driving in the rain. Maryland Auto cares about your safety, and you should, too!
For more resources on wet weather driving, visit: