Driving in Inclement Weather.

With the coming of winter and the possibility of having to drive on roads that are less than perfect many people often wonder how to drive safely and reach their destination without having a fender bender or more serious accident.

Having driven over 3 million miles on all kinds of roads, in all kinds of conditions, and at the same time never having had an accident I feel I can offer some advice.

The first and most important requirement is to have your vehicle in top operating condition with windshield wipers that don’t streak , good tires with at least half their tread remaining, reliable brakes , also remember to keep your windshield clear of ice and fog to ensure proper vision.

Give yourself plenty of time in bad weather and always have a plan, think about what you would do in any scenario that may arise, and in case some unforeseen incident should arise,always have an escape route, or plan B, in mind.

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I have found that most roads, regardless of conditions can be negotiated at about 45 miles per hour, this much speed is needed keep to a safe distance between other vehicles, it also keeps one from being “rear-ended” by fast-moving cars, and provides enough speed to negotiate any hills one may encounter.

The prime thing to remember is to not make any sudden adjustments in speed or direction. Maintain a safe distance between your self and any other vehicle that may be in your line of travel. I always drive as though I have no brakes, thus I always maintained a safety cushion between myself and anyone else, thereby giving me time to make any
adjustments  in my speed or direction.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation, the first thing to do is “think”, DON’T panic. You probably have more
time than imagined, and you only have one chance to make the right decision. Thinking only takes a split second and can save your life. If your vehicle does go into a skid, ease up on the accelerator, stay off the brakes, remembering to steer in the direction your car is skidding, being careful not to over correct. Only after evaluating the situation should any brakes be applied, gently tapping works the best, if it is found there is sufficient traction to slow your vehicle, then more
pressure can be applied, making sure to never “lock” the brakes up, which only makes the situation worse.

Ever wonder why people will skid for several yards just to  hit that lone telephone pole?

It is because they are looking at it, you will always go where your eyes are looking, chart out your path and look where you want to go, and pick out a safe landing spot!

With a little caution, good judgment, and thought, one can be reasonably assured of safely reaching their destination.


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The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

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