Bad Weather Driving Tips for Teens...
term "joy ride" does not apply when it's pouring and the wind is
gusting. The best strategy for driving in bad weather is to avoid it. But if
going out is necessary or you get caught in bad conditions once you're already
on the road, follow these safe driving tips:
Make sure your headlights are on.
Increase your following distance — if you're going slowly
because of bad weather, is there really a point to being only 2 feet behind the
car in front of you?
Slow down. Braking takes longer on slippery roads — the slower
you go, the easier it will be for you to stop.
the Snow and Ice
a car is never "easy," but this is especially true in wintry weather.
To hone your skills, ask someone with winter driving experience to take you to a
vacant parking lot where you can practice driving, turning, and stopping in the
you must travel, keep your car gassed up so that the fuel lines don't freeze.
Clear snow completely off the car, remembering to sweep the taillights and
headlights. Watch out for slow-moving vehicles like snowplows and sand trucks,
and try not to get too close — the last thing you need in a snowstorm is a
windshield full of sand. Also try to avoid passing these vehicles.
together a car emergency kit that contains:
an ice scraper and a snow brush
a bag of sand, salt or cat litter (for traction if you get stuck
warning flares or triangles
gloves or mittens
a flashlight and batteries
a first-aid kit
nonperishable snack foods
a candle and matches
a cup in case you need to melt snow for water
you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and call for assistance. Run the heater
occasionally to keep warm, but avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by making sure
your tailpipe isn't stuffed or blocked with snow or other debris.
are dirty places. Between tires stirring up gravel and engines dripping oil and
other fluids, a lot of oily and slick substances build up on roads. That's why
roads are at their slickest almost immediately after it starts raining. The
water brings those oils to the surface, making it sneaky-slick.
you get caught in a slick situation and your car starts gliding or hydroplaning,
don't panic or slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the gas and gradually
press the brakes, making sure not to turn the steering wheel. To avoid
make sure your tires aren't bald
easy does it around turns
if you can, go around puddles
require drivers to have their headlights on if it's raining. Also, be aware of
thunderstorm warnings. If a thunderstorm starts while you're driving and
visibility is poor, pull over and wait it out. Don't run the risk of being
struck by lightning — stay in your car and pull as far off the road as safely
Sun and Fuzzy Fog
of the most vital parts of driving is visibility. Both bright sun and soupy fog
can cause limited visibility. To combat that pesky fireball in the sky, always
have UV sunglasses somewhere in the car. Also, to reduce bad glare, pop down the
can be a little trickier to handle than bright sunlight. Fog can reduce
visibility to less than ¼ mile. Fog can also trick you into thinking you're
going slower than you really are, so keep the speed down. When you can't see far
ahead, it's hard to see brake lights or traffic signs until you're almost upon
them. And just because you can't see doesn't mean that your high beams will
improve visibility. In fact, high beams reduce visibility in fog. If your car
has fog lamps, though, use them.