Does it seem that the national evening news is always reporting extreme weather somewhere in the country? Some say it’s worse today due to global warming but we’ll leave that conclusion to the experts. What we do know is that most areas of the country are subjected to nasty storms at some point and drivers may find themselves on the road when they occur.  If it happens to you, we have a few suggestions to help you get to your destination safely.

Drive slowly

During a storm there’s likely going to be a lot of standing water on the road.  These are conditions that invite “hydroplaning.” That’s when you are traveling so fast that your tires skim across the surface of the water causing a loss of traction and control. It’s a dangerous situation so go slow and hydroplaning won’t happen.

Don’t drive through pools of water

You’ve probably seen on TV when drivers get their car stuck in the middle of an area flooded with water. This situation can be very dangerous and many have lost their lives when it happens. The argument is simple: because you don’t know what is under that water surface, don’t drive through it. Stop and find another route around the water. It may take you a little longer to get where you are going but you might be saving yourself from a bad situation.

Watch for winds

If you are driving a sedan, you probably don’t have to worry about being blown off the road (unless we are dealing with hurricane force winds, of course.) Unfortunately, that does not apply to large trucks and vans. Because they have large surface areas on their sides, they can be blown all over during high winds. Why is this so important? Because you might not get blown around, but they could be and you could end up right in your path. Don’t risk getting hit by a semi, avoid driving in areas with high winds until the storm has passed.

Have good tires

Are the tires on your car heavily worn? This unfortunately is the case for a lot of drivers because new tires are expensive and they are putting off the purchase. The service department at Fitzgerald Auto Mall of Lexington Park, MD, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer explains that when the weather is fair worn tires may not present a great hazard but when it turns wet or frozen, it’s an entirely different matter. Think of your tires as safety equipment because that’s what they are in a way. Would you drive a car without seat belts? Probably not, so it’s smart if you don’t drive on worn tires.

Back off

You know that tailgating is a bad idea, but it’s especially bad in storms. It is suggested that you modify the “two second rule” (the safety buffer between cars expressed in time) to four seconds during storms. This will give you and other cars more time to react if you need to swerve or jam on the brakes quickly.

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.