Tips for Driving Safely in Stormy Weather

Stormy weather is simply part of life in Louisiana. And while it’s best to avoid driving during any type of storm, sometimes it can’t be avoided. Following are a few tips to help you drive more safely when the weather is bad.

Car Maintenance – Make sure your car is always in the best shape to handle bad weather. Replace worn windshield wipers promptly. Keep your headlights clean. Check tire treads regularly and replace worn tires immediately.

Begin Braking Earlier – Because wet roads are slippery, it takes longer to come to a full stop safely. You need to begin the braking process sooner than you normally would – and you should also drive more slowly than normal during stormy weather.

Avoid Standing Water – When you come upon a large puddle or water that has overflowed into the road, take great caution. It’s virtually impossible to gauge the depth of standing water by sight – so the smart thing to do is turn around and find an alternate route.

Avoid Large Vehicles– Try to stay away from large trucks, buses or any oversize vehicle, as their tires will throw off large amounts of spray that can impede your vision.

Stay Calm – Even if you drive slowly and safely, your vehicle could still begin hydroplaning (which can cause you to spin out of control). If this happens, DO NOT slam on the brakes or spin the steering wheel. Instead, take your foot off the brake and keep steering straight. Your car will usually regain traction within a few moments.

Just Pull Over – If you experience rain that is so heavy that you can hardly see – or winds so strong that your vehicle is being pushed around – it’s time to pull over. Find a safe place to stop and simply wait until conditions improve.