Different road conditions call for different driving skills.
And for most of us, driving under the rain, during winter, or through fog and wind can be a lot more challenging.
How do you drive safely during these common Indiana road conditions?
Well, we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll give you safe driving tips on several Indiana road conditions that you will surely come across.
Now, let’s get started.
How to Drive Safely in Indiana Road Conditions
These are the Indiana road conditions that we’ll cover here:
- High winds
One thing’s for sure, if the weather in your area is bad, do not attempt to drive if you can help it.
But if you need to travel during this time, here are some tips you can follow for a safer drive.
Driving During Winter
During the winter, the dangers will most likely involve ice on the road, freezing temperatures, and snow that blocks your view and path.
If so, follow these tips to avoid accidents:
- Before setting out to drive, pack an emergency kit that has food, first aid, jackets, blankets, an ice scraper, emergency lights, and extra clothing. You may also bring a snow shovel and a tow rope.
- Check your car battery. If it’s weak, recharge it before leaving.
- Change your tires to snow tires during the winter season. While you’re at it, check the tire pressure – it should be within the recommended pressure by the tire manufacturer.
- Let your engine warm up before driving on snowy or wet roads.
- Keep an eye out for black ice. Avoid roads with black ice since these roads are slippery even if using snow tires.
- Turn on your low-beam headlights when there is a snowfall. Do not turn your headlines on bright.
- Always leave space between you and the car in front. This allows you to avoid colliding with the other car if one of you skids.
Driving in the Rain
Similar to driving in winter, driving in heavy rain can be dangerous because of the slippery roads and lower visibility.
If you can avoid driving while it’s raining, do so. However, if you need to drive, here are some tips for safer travel:
- Check your windshield wipers before hitting the road. Make sure that they are functioning properly and at different speeds.
- When there is low visibility, turn on your headlights but don’t use the high beams.
- Stick to roads that you are familiar with so that you have an idea if the road floods easily or not.
- If there’s flooding in the roads ahead, look at a post or a road market to measure how deep the water is. If you can’t estimate how deep it is, change your route. Do not brave the flood.
- Slow down. If you have to step on the brakes, do it slowly.
- If the rain is too heavy, stay where you are and wait for it to improve.
- Do not turn on cruise control. Do the driving yourself and focus on the road ahead.
Driving Through Fog
Fog occurs even when there’s no rain or snow. If you find yourself approaching foggy places, here are some things you need to take note of:
- Use low headlight beams to illuminate the road.
- Drive slowly and always be prepared to stop. Driving at a slow pace gives you enough time to react if there is something ahead.
- Clear your windshield using wipers or a defroster. Moisture accumulating on your windshield can cause glares, making it difficult to see the road ahead.
- Turn off the lights inside your car and reduce the dashboard lights if possible.
- If you need to pull over because of low visibility, pull over in a place where you are far from the road. It’s best to pull over in an emergency bay or parking lot.
Driving in High Winds
Strong winds can be a result of rainy weather, but there are times when winds occur without rain. If you find yourself driving through high winds, here are some things to do:
- Stay away from large vehicles as they are prone to tripping and losing control.
- If you need to pass a large vehicle, give a large distance in front and signal before changing lanes.
- Always keep your hands on the wheel. If your car gets swayed by the wind, try to focus on keeping your car on the right track.
- Do not slam on the brakes if you lose control of your car. Continue in a straight direction and lightly step on the brakes to slow down.
Driving Through Floods
Flash floods occur during heavy rain, so if there’s a downpour, expect some roads to have a flash flood.
You might get stuck in the middle of the road if you pass a flooded area. Here are some tips to prevent getting stuck in a flash flood.
- Identify roads that are prone to flooding. Avoid these roads when it starts to rain heavily.
- Do not pass roads that you are unfamiliar with. You might not know where they lead or whether they get flooded or not.
- If you see the road flooding ahead, do not drive through it. Turn back and choose a more elevated road.
- Avoid roads that have barriers or traffic cones. The flood might make them move and hit your vehicle.
- In the unfortunate event that your car stops in the middle of a flooded road, get out of the car right away to avoid getting stuck inside as long as the flood’s current is not strong.
Driving at Night
Driving at night sounds relatively easy when you compare it to driving in inclement weather. However, the dark can cause dangers that you might not be prepared for.
If you are driving at night, make sure to do these things:
- Keep your eyes peeled for signs of pedestrian lanes, bus stops, school zones, and recreational zones. Always be ready to stop if there is a pedestrian.
- Reduce the light coming from your dashboard or your phone screen. Bright lights inside the car will give your eyes a long time to adjust to the dark roads ahead.
- If you’re sleepy, pull over to a parking lot or nearby accommodations. Do not drive when you’re drowsy.
And that’s it. These are some tips to help you drive safely on Indiana road conditions.
Take note that even if you follow all these tips, there’s still no safer alternative than to stay where you are during inclement weather. That way, you remove the danger you’re facing when you’re on the road.
Always remember that your safety is what matters most!
But if you can’t avoid it, then always be extra careful.