Every season brings a different type of weather. And each type of weather brings different challenges when you’re on the road. We cover safety essentials for every type of weather in this safe driving guide.
Safe Driving in Winter
If you’re in a cold climate, winter means icy roads and snow. Stay safe on winter roads with these tips.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
- Reduce your speed. Remember: The posted speed limit is the speed that’s advised for driving in optimal weather conditions. You may need to reduce your speed when winter weather hits.
- Clear the ice. Snow and ice on your windows can obstruct your line of sight. Clear all the windows completely and remove all of the snow from the top of your vehicle. This prevents snow from abruptly falling on the windshield when you’re driving.
- Correct carefully on the road. If you notice your vehicle sliding on slippery roads, resist the urge to abruptly hit the brakes and turn the wheel, which increase the likelihood that you’ll lose control of the vehicle. Instead, use calm, gentle movements to correct sliding on icy roads.
- Properly maintain your vehicle. From tire pressure to windshield wipers, keeping your car in optimal condition is critical to staying safe on the road during winter.
All-wheel Drive Versus Four-wheel Drive in Winter
Typically, all-wheel drive is better for driving on snowy and icy roads because the driver doesn’t have to make any changes to ensure the right method is in use. Four-wheel drive is a good option if you’re going to be driving in deeper snow or very extreme winter weather conditions.
Safe Driving in Fall
Fall weather tends to be mild, which means road conditions may not be affected during the fall season. However, many big community milestones happen during fall, like the start of a new school year and the harvest season for farmers, which may affect the roads.
Back to School
When the school season starts, there may be more kids walking in your community. Be careful backing out of your driveway, and don’t speed while driving through your neighborhood. It’s also important to know the school bus laws in your state.
If you live near farmland or in a rural area, you may encounter large equipment or tractors on the road during harvest season. Keep yourself and the farmers in your community safe by slowing down when you see a piece of ag equipment and watching for SMV signs and hand signals from people driving large equipment. Also, keep in mind that the ag vehicle or equipment operators have a right to drive on the road.
Safe Driving in Rainy Seasons
The risk of an accident increases in the rain. Make sure you’re taking the right safety precautions to stay safe when driving in rain and on wet roads. Here’s what to know:
- Check your lights and tires. Make sure your sure your headlights, brake lights, taillights and turn signals are functioning properly so that other drivers can see you. Also make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated to improve traction.
- Use your wipers and lights. You know your lights are working — now use them. Also use your wiper blades to keep the water from obstructing your view while driving.
- Prevent hydroplaning. Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle’s tires encounter more water than it can scatter, causing the vehicle to lose traction and “slide” or “drift” across wet surfaces. To reduce the chance of hydroplaning, slow down, and avoid hard braking and turning sharply. It also helps to drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
- Avoid large puddles. Driving through large puddles or roads that are covered with water increases the risk that water will cover your car and obscure your vision. Whenever possible, avoid driving through puddles and large amounts of water.
Protection in Every Season
Having the right auto insurance coverage protects you and your loved ones in every season. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent to make sure you have the right coverage in place.