How to Stay Safe When Driving a Rental Car During Bad Weather
The challenge of driving in typical to extreme weather conditions can vary for drivers. Some drive through snow, rain, wind, ice, fog, and sleet, and proceed with caution. On the other hand, there are drivers who underestimate the effort it takes to get safely through hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential snow and rain, and electrical storms.
Regardless, bad weather conditions can be a source of anxiety when traveling, especially when you are driving a rented car, which means that you should have double care:
you are driving a car you are not used to drive and you are risking your savings too, because of the credit card entered during rental cars purchasing process, as a guarantee.
[Read also “Is it possible to rent a car without credit card?” –> rentcar360.com/get-rental-car-without-credit-cards]
Whether it’s driving in the middle of thick snow or stormy weather, there is danger in navigating such difficult terrain. Snow can decrease your car’s mobility, while strong winds and rain can block your ability to see the road. It’s also challenging to drive at night. Nighttime driving can induce drowsiness and put you at risk of crashing into another vehicle.
The importance of driving safely during bad weather cannot be understated.
In the United States, almost 22 percent of the 6 million recorded car accidents are related to bad weather. In fact, bad weather accounts for nearly 6,000 deaths and 445,000 injuries in car accidents.
The statistics provide enough reason to practice safety in different weather conditions. If it’s possible to postpone a trip, then do so. But if the weather is harsh and you’ve got to be in certain places, it’s important to keep yourself safe while driving by practicing several safety techniques. In winter, for example, the first question is: do I need winter tyres? Well, they could really help (always ask for them in rental cars).
In this article, we distinguish the differences between several kinds of bad weather and provide tips on how you’ll be able to get through a difficult journey.
Driving in Different Kinds of Weather
- Driving in the rain: This may entail light to heavy downpours. Check whether there’s flooding in your area. If it’s a storm, stay updated on when it will hit strongest.
- Driving in the snow or ice: When driving in the snow, be careful not to drive through black ice because it may lead to a loss of traction.
- Driving through strong winds: Make sure that you know the direction in which the wind is going. If you’re driving through mountains, pay attention to your steering.
- Driving through dense fog: Stay vigilant of people and hazards by turning on your fog lights. The lines on the road will guide you.
- Driving in the dark: If you are tired, drowsy, or sleep-deprived, it’s best to postpone your trip and drive some other time. Drinking coffee is not a solution.
- Driving in intense heat or with a sun glare: Check your car’s temperature gauge to avoid overheating. Keep an additional pair of shades in your car if the sun visor won’t make do.
Safety Reminders for People Who Drive During All Kinds of Bad Weather, with a rented vehicle above all
- Check the weather conditions and plan accordingly. Before heading out for your trip, make sure that you’ve planned how you will drive in the specific weather you’re currently in. If you can find an alternative route that will cause less anxiety and less stress, it’s better to take this route. If not, make sure that you’re not running late and that you’re on track with your travel time.
- Always wear seatbelts. Make sure that you and your passengers are all wearing seatbelts. By following the law, you can help save lives.
- Use lights properly and observe your environment. When driving, use your lights properly by making an early signal when turning. However, be careful to avoid blinding other motorists with your headlights. At night, observe your environment and watch out for people or animals that might cross your path. During foggy weather, use low beam headlights, so that other cars can see you.
- Drive slowly and control your steering. Windy, icy, and wet roads can lead to skidding. Under these conditions, control your steering when taking sharp turns. Don’t slam your foot on the breaks and decelerate slowly. If you stop too quickly, there’s a high chance of getting rear-ended by another vehicle.
- Keep your car in good condition. When was the last time you changed tires? Does your vehicle need a tune-up? If you’re driving during winter, you need to check your brakes and tires more frequently. Your windshield wiper should be working properly, and your headlights should be cleaned. In other words, maintenance during bad weather can lessen the difficulty of driving. Always keep an emergency kit in your car in case something unforeseen happens. Your phone should also be fully charged, so that you can call for outside help.
- Leave room in front. When driving in snow and ice, double the cushion between your car and the vehicle in front since brake time is slower in these conditions.
- Stay updated on the weather. You can either listen to a radio station that provides weather updates or use a mobile app to stay updated on weather changes.
- Pull over and rest your eyes. Prioritize your well-being over anything else. If you’re tired, pull over to the nearest gas station, so you could grab a bite or rest your eyes. Taking a break from driving when you’re exhausted is better than getting into a car accident. If weather conditions worsen, find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.
Before you hit the road, it’s always important to keep in mind that your safety should be your priority. The safety driving tips in this article can help you plan and enjoy your trip, so share them with your family, friends, and co-workers.
Here as follow a great infographic recap drawn by PureDieselPower.