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June 06, 2011
7 Basic Rules for Driving in Extreme Weather

There are seven general rules for driving safely in extreme weather. They all relate to adjusting your driving to the conditions. When you put these rules into action, you significantly increase your safety level. This can mean fewer accidents and injuries to you and to others.

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The Seven Rules are:

  1. Starting out earlier and allowing extra time when weather conditions are difficult. By giving yourself extra time, you can reduce your stress level as well as allow for slower, safer driving. This can be essential during certain weather events such as snowfall or heavy rain.
  2. Turning on your lights so you can see better and so that other drivers can see you better. In some states it is the law that you turn on your headlights when it rains or visibility is reduced. Even if your state does not require it, turning on lights is a good idea as it helps everyone to see better.
  3. Slowing down and matching your speed to the weather conditions rather than the posted speed. As you slow your speed, you automatically increase your safety as it relates to braking and stopping. It takes less room to stop when driving slower than it does when driving faster.
  4. Staying alert and watching out for other drivers, dangerous road conditions, and so on.
  5. Increasing following distance from 2 seconds to at least 4 seconds.

  6. Preparing for stops so that you can bring your vehicle to a halt quickly but safely—this includes testing your brakes before you begin driving.
  7. Getting off the road to a safe place like a rest stop or turnout if weather conditions get so bad that it is unsafe to continue your journey.

The above information comes from BLR’s presentation “Extreme Weather Driving.” For more information on all the training courses BLR has to offer, go to our Extreme Weather Driving page.

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