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Tips for Steering Clear of Bad Weather

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 21, 2011

Throughout the diverse terrain of Washington state, drivers may encounter any of a myriad of bad weather conditions on the highway, from fog and rain to ice and snow. However, a crucial part of preventing crashes is understanding dangers and minimizing risks. And who better to speak on that besides a former race car driver? Mac Demere, who once raced NASCAR and is now an auto journalist, recently penned a piece for the fall/ winter Geico Now offering safety techniques for drivers facing all types of treacherous conditions. Below are a few key ones.

  • In rain, never drive in the wheel rivets produced by other vehicles — rain collects in them which poses the danger for hydroplaning. In contrast, in snowy conditions using those tracks can provide traction.
  • The appropriate response to hydroplaning and black ice is the same: don’t brake. If you absolutely have to make turning adjustments, make them gingerly. Wait until you feel your tires grab the road again before you gradually apply the brakes (don’t slam on them).
  • When it’s foggy, keep your side vision locked into the white lines on the road’s shoulder — that’s why they’re called “fog lines” — and only use your low beams. Also, if you must exit the road in bad fog, be sure to locate a safe region to do so that’s removed from the highway. Pulling over onto the shoulder (unless you’re broken down) increases your risk of being accidentally hit from behind in the fog.
  • When car shopping, look for vehicles with all wheel drive operating for the best traction and computer controlled brakes (electronic stability control), which will be mandated for all light cars starting in 2012 sold in the U.S and reduce the risk of skidding.

Lastly, go back to school. Driving school, that is. Mac recommends finding a driving school that will specifically instruct you on navigating treacherous road conditions in a safe, controlled environment. Have you been injured in a Washington state car accident that you think was the fault of another driver? Contact the Seattle car accident attorneys with Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. at 1(888) 228-3860.

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