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Safety First! 5 Important Safe Driving Tips in Bad Weather

Bad Weather

Most car tire advertisements show cars speeding down the open road, under clear skies, and sunny weather. But we all know that the weather is not always perfectly sunny all the time. In fact, mother nature can get downright nasty! When mother nature is not at its best, here are 5 driving tips you can use to keep your car tires firmly on the road (and not in an auto mechanic shop):

Keep a Safe Speed When on the Road

The number one cause of road accidents is unsafe or excessive speed. If road conditions are bad, it's probably not a good idea to test the tread on your new tires or act like a speed demon on the highway. Speeding all the time does not save as much time as you think it may, either. But above all, do not drive any faster than the road conditions allow. This means if there is rain or snow falling, slow down! However, you shouldn't slow down too far below the flow of traffic around you. This is even more dangerous, as other drivers will move to go around you. Driving at safe speeds, regardless of weather, helps keep you safe on the road. Keeping a safe speed gives you more time to react if something happens on the road in front of you.

Give Yourself Extra Space in Bad Weather

In times when the weather is bad, you need extra time to react if something happens on the road. Your car will need extra time and distance to slow or stop if you need to suddenly. Therefore, make sure to give yourself some extra breathing room between you and the car in front of you. At a minimum, follow the two-second rule. This means that you should have enough distance between you and the car in front of you so that you have at least two seconds of time between where their car is, and where your vehicle will be. During bad weather conditions, more than two seconds of distance is even better. Keeping at least two seconds in front of the vehicle ahead of you as a cushion will give you and your car time to react and maneuver out the way.

Hold Your Steering Wheel Firmly

Most driving school instructors recommend that students keep their hands firmly on the wheel, at the 10 O'Clock and 2 O'Clock positions. But research is proving this to not be ideal. In fact, research suggests that if drivers hold the steering wheel at 9 O' Clock and 3 O' Clock, it is much less likely that their hands get caught between their bodies if the airbag deploys. However, there really isn't an "ideal" position to place your hands on the steering wheel. It depends on the wheel itself, as well as your personal level of comfort. You should also grip the wheel firmly with both hands any time the vehicle is in motion. This means you should not use the heel of your palm to turn the wheel or drape your arm over the wheel as an armrest. Also, never use your knee, leg or body part other than your hands to steer the wheel. But be careful not to grip the steering wheel too hard, either! Keeping an iron grip on your steering wheel will cause your hands to tire quickly. It also can cause you to make sharp, sudden moves, which can cause your car tires to quickly lose traction. This is especially true on slippery, wet, or icy roads.

Brake and Accelerate Lightly and Smoothly

In times of bad weather, quick "Jackrabbit" starts and fast stops are extremely unsafe. Starting or stopping suddenly will cause the treads on even new tires to lose their grip on the road, especially during wet or icy conditions. Instead, gently accelerate and brake to ensure your car tires stay connected to the pavement below. However, in addition to keeping you and your car safe, using smooth acceleration and braking techniques also improves your fuel economy. Smooth acceleration and braking help to reduce wear in both your car tires and your brake pads. "Jackrabbit" starts are also not good for engines. It will eventually cause serious engine wear if you continue starting suddenly and quickly for long periods of time.

Make Sure To Properly Service Your Car (and Your Car Tires) for Winter Weather

Last but certainly not least is to make sure your car is running in peak condition. By having your car inspected regularly at your local auto mechanic, you can rest assured your car will be ready for harsh winter weather. Of course, if you're looking for the best auto repair facility in Los Angeles, the place you need to check out is West Coast Tire & Service. Their knowledgeable auto repair experts can make sure your car is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it. They can also make sure your car tires are in peak condition, and help you get a great deal if you are in need of new tires to weather the upcoming winter storms. Drive safe!