Safety tips to drive your van in bad weather
March 31, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Many road hazards happen during the wet seasons or heavy rainy days and drivers are called to be more vigilant to avoid being victims. Here are some useful tips on how to steer your van safely on a wet road and even how to react to sudden situations.
Ensure you have visibility
Can you see clearly through your windscreen? It helps to wipe out any snow on your windscreen, side mirrors, and all other windows to boost your visibility. Next, check if your wipers are working properly prior to you starting the drive; when it snows heavy, you want to be sure your wipers will clear your windscreen efficiently so you can see better.
Ensure lights are properly working
You want to be able to see the road ahead as well as other motorists spotting your van when approaching. Check that the headlamps turn on when prompted and that they are bright enough on the road. Your hazard and breaking lights should also be in good condition and visible as well. Vans tend to be elevated than saloon cars, so your break or headlamps shouldn’t be that hard to spot.
Double the distance with the car in front
Just to be safe, always make sure the driving distance between you and the car in front is wide enough; 10 times the normal distance you leave when driving on dry roads. This space gives you a chance to steer the car away from the collision when you accidentally skid on wet ice. Black ice is a common danger on snow covered roads and you don’t want any vehicle in close proximity when your van starts skidding.
Remember braking on wet roads is twice as hard, and even harder if you are driving a loaded van. Leaving a big distance between cars gives you enough space to brake and avoid accidents.
When it rains, the roads are foggy, the tarmac is wet and it becomes next to impossible to see where you are going. So the best gift to yourself is to slow down your speed and be keener on the road ahead, especially if you are driving in the dark. Another tip to remember, make sure you are not on cruise control because you won’t be able to notice when the car is skidding; have full control of your accelerator pedal at all times.
Don’t Fight Skids
Skidding is abrupt and your vehicle will swerve; most drivers will be motivated to move the opposite direction to gain control of their vans. This is dangerous as road safety experts say, especially for bigger vehicles like vans which are heavy and can easily topple. Instead, steer the vehicle in the direction of the skid, breaking gently until the vehicle comes to a stop. If there are vehicles in your skidding path, hooting may help to warn them to steer clear, if they can.
It may get scary driving in bad weather, especially with visibility hindered and the chance of having accidents doubled. Nonetheless, with the above tips and procedures, you have nothing to worry about and will drive safely to and from home every day.
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