Tips for Night Driving in Bad Weather Situations

Strong Tie Insurance February 8, 2021 Our Blog

Bad weather and darkness is a combination that makes for difficult driving. Reduced visibility and slick roads are always a headache, and the two combined can spell out seriously dangerous road conditions.

In order to drive safely, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the usual recommended behaviors for driving through extreme rain or snow.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips available to help with safe driving even in the worst conditions. Here are some of our favorite driving tips for bad weather.

Know the Best Practices for Extreme Snow and Rain

On a snowy or icy road, you could lose control of your vehicle. If you end up skidding, it’s best to lay off both the brakes and the gas pedal. Instead, try to turn the wheel in the same direction that you’re skidding into. Ideally, this will counteract the skid and let you continue moving straight forward, instead of spinning out of control.

With any amount of water on the road, hydroplaning is a real risk. This happens when your tires are moving along the surface of the water instead of along the road. In this situation, you should take your foot off the gas pedal, and avoid braking, just like you would during a skid along a snowy road.

If you drive through bad weather regularly, it’s also a good idea to have some supplies ready for an emergency.

Depending on where you’re located, that might include emergency food and water rations, a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures, a flashlight, or even flares to make sure other drivers will see your truck when it’s parked. A shovel could be of use in a snowy situation, too.

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition

Driving in bad weather conditions takes a lot of concentration. It’s easier to get out of a sticky situation if your truck is well-maintained, though. Your brakes, tires, headlights, and windshield wipers are all vital tools for safe driving at night and through snow or rain, so truck maintenance should always be a priority.

Your windshield wipers might need replacing more regularly if you spend most of your time in a sunny climate, for example. Dried-out wipers can make driving in rain more difficult, because they don’t work as well. Clouded headlights won’t be as bright, and they may not cut it during night drives.

Insurance for commercial trucks is the best way to make sure your car is ready to take on the roads. Having your truck insured is part of staying prepared for any situation out on the road.

Light It Up

Extreme weather situations call for specific light settings on your car. Your normal headlights might not be suited to all kinds of weather. When it comes to rain and snow, your low beams might offer the best visibility.

The fog lights on your car are uniquely designed for foggy weather and low visibility. They have a yellow tone, and that allows them to cut through the fog instead of just reflecting off of it the way normal lights do. In addition, they’re also positioned low to the ground, to give you a better view of the road.

Stay In Your Truck

It might be tempting to venture out for assistance on foot if your truck is having issues, but you should avoid leaving your vehicle in snowy conditions. Your truck is a useful shelter in freezing weather.

If it looks like you might have to spend the night in your vehicle, it’s best to find insulating materials. Any kind of cloth is helpful, whether it’s a blanket or shop towels. You can even use paper, like packaging or newspaper, in a pinch.

In rain, fog, or otherwise dangerous driving conditions, make sure to drive more slowly than you ordinarily would. Driving more slowly takes longer, but it will help you and other drivers stay safe. In fact, some experts recommend driving under the speed limit.

Experts suggest slowing down by at least 5 miles per hour when driving through rain. To drive through snow safely, they recommend driving 10 miles per hour slower than usual. If that still feels too fast, feel free to go even slower.

Keep Your Distance

When you’re driving at night and facing slippery roads, it’s important to maintain some distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you.

Black ice is often impossible to see on the roads. If you’ve ever walked over ice on the sidewalk, you know how dangerous and slick it can be. If you stay a safe distance from the cars ahead of you,

Your brakes are one of the most important features on your vehicle, and that’s especially true as you’re driving in bad weather. Snow and rain change the usual rules of the road, so learn how best to apply your brakes through these weather conditions.

If you happen to drive through a puddle, it’s recommended that you take your foot off the gas and feather the brakes. This will help dry them out so you can avoid the danger and inconvenience of wet brakes.

Be Prepared With a Plan and Proper Insurance

When you’re going to be driving in bad weather, try making a plan ahead of time in case driving becomes too dangerous. This is especially important during the winter months, when the weather can be treacherous. Your plan might involve stopping on the highway shoulder, applying tire chains, or something else.

In some situations, it’s best to just stop driving, at least until daylight hours come around again. Avoid driving through blizzard conditions at night, because blizzards can quickly become deadly if you lose track of the road or can’t control your vehicle.

When you pull off the road, you can look for overnight lodging if it’s dangerously cold. If the weather seems likely to pass, you can try waiting on the side of the road instead.

These driving tips are designed to help you stay safe, just like our commercial insurance. If you’re in need of commercial truck insurance, contact Strong Tie Insurance today to learn more about your options.