Whilst our climate keeps taking unexpected twists and turns for every year that passes, our population accumulates through an exponential growth, bringing an increased number of car owners onto our roads. According to reports released by PRB, an estimated 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes each year, and as many as 50 million are injured.
These numbers has seen an incremental growth over recent years, and is expected to keep growing in a steady pace. So how can we, as a collective, work united towards safer roads and more responsible driving as global weather conditions remain unstable?
One of the most critical factors to remember whilst out for a late rough-weather-drive, is to be prepared and aware. Listed below are some pivotal pointers in order to stay calm on the road.
The first reminder whilst driving in heavy rain should be to slow down. Maintaining a high speed on a wet/rainy surface might cause your car to hydroplane, something that occurs when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the vehicle from responding to control inputs. If this happens, don’t panic. Just take a moment to slow down your driving.
Another key factor to drive safely in rainy conditions is to avoid driving through flooded areas. Before getting out on the road in heavy rain, consider running through a map or mental check ensuring you’re not entering any risk zones exposed to potential flooding. It can be difficult gauging the water’s depth. This is dangerous in itself cause if water gets sucked into the air-intake valve and then the engine, the car will probably shut off.
Some of the most serious accidents occur whilst driving on icy roads. This is due to the ice layer on top of the road often becoming transparent, making it invisible to the human eye. This type of ice is called “black ice”, and the most important detail to remember is, once again, to slow down. Slowing down is the always a good idea upon encountering unpleasant weather conditions. Bringing it down by 10 miles/hour will significantly decrease your risk of crashing or sliding of the road.
Another simple ace to pull out of your sleeve in order to stay safe whilst driving on ice, is to avoid tailgating. By leaving your closest neighbor on the road at least 100 yards between the two of you will allow for plenty of space in case the car ahead of you suddenly brakes. Although you don’t want to leave too much space, because by following his headlights through trickily roads, you’ll get an idea of what’s ahead.
The most crucial competent to stay calm during unpleasant weather conditions boils down to simply following your own pace. Go a little bit slower than you usually would and make sure you’re in a comfortable state of mind. If you at any point experience overwhelming or slightly panicked feelings, don’t be resistant to taking a break. Gather your thoughts for a minute, before getting back up on the horse.