In Maine, there are so many different road conditions that you’ll have to drive through.
And though staying safe through all these road conditions call for one thing — slow down — there are other things to keep in mind, too.
This will be our focus today.
Here, we’ll give you safe driving tips as you go through the Maine road conditions.
So are you ready?
Driving Through Maine Road Conditions
In the following sections, we’re going to talk about the safe driving tips when:
- Driving at night
- Driving during winter
- Driving through fog
- Driving in the rain
- Driving through floods
- Driving through work zones
- Driving on gravel and dirt
- Driving on narrow roads
- Driving over open bridge gates
- Driving through woods
- Driving through uncontrolled intersections
- Driving with wildlife
Let’s get to the details.
Safety Tips When Driving at Night
As a driver, you probably can’t avoid driving at night. And if you have, you probably found it difficult to see the road and surrounding areas.
This is why, when driving at night, follow these safety tips:
- As always, slow down.
- Turn on your low beams. This allows you to see the road ahead without blinding the driver in front or the opposite lane.
- Do not use high beams unless you’re alone on the road. High beams make you see more, but it might be too bright for other drivers trying to see clearly as well.
- If you are drowsy, always take a stop at a parking lot or delay leaving. Do not risk driving at night if there’s a chance you might fall asleep.
- Be extra alert for vehicles with distracted or drunk drivers. Look for signs that show impaired driving (sudden lane changes, inconsistent speed, etc) so you can avoid (and report) them.
Safety Tips When Driving During Winter
The winter season is all fun and cozy, except when you have to drive. The road is almost always slippery, plus snow makes it difficult to drive smoothly.
The general rule? Slow down – you don’t want to end up skidding.
Here are other things to know when driving during winter:
- If you can avoid driving during heavy snowfall, do so. Even if you are the safest driver, chances of skidding are high both for you and other drivers. Not to mention, the snow can obscure your view.
- Always check your car for winter preparation. The brakes should work properly, the exhaust system should be in good condition, and your car battery should be fully charged.
- To be extra safe, consider changing the tires to dedicated winter tires. These will provide more traction and handling in thick snow.
- Warm your car (around 30 seconds) before leaving so that the engine is properly warmed up for the drive.
- Look ahead and be alert for ice or black ice so that you can avoid them. If you can’t avoid them, slow down gently — do not slam on the brakes.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Fog
Fog occurs during the cold or rainy season. You might also experience smoke on the road.
In either case, visibility becomes low for you and all the other drivers nearby. In this case, try as much as possible to make yourself visible.
Here are some tips you should try out:
- Turn your headlights on, but use the low beams.
- Do not turn on your hazard lights for this disables the use of your turn signals.
- Install fog lights when you’re going to a high or cool place. Fog lights increase your visibility of the road.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the driver in front. Do not increase speed and tailgate them.
- Use the pavement markings as your guide to stay on your lane. Look for the road edge markings to know if you’re still driving in the right direction.
- If the fog is too thick even with lights on, look for a safe space to park and let the fog ease before going again.
Safety Tips When Driving in Rain
Driving in the rain can be as dangerous as driving in snow –- both instances make the road very slippery.
Here’s how you can stay safe when it’s wet outside:
- Before driving outside, make sure that your brakes are properly functioning.
- Check your tires before you leave the house. Make sure it isn’t flat so that you have more grip on the road.
- Always use signals well before you will do a certain action. This allows drivers to know what you’re planning to do.
- Keep your windshield wipers turned on to make sure you see clearly.
- Turn on your defroster so that the windows do not fog.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Floods
The best advice to drive through floods? Don’t do it.
Driving through floods can harm you and the car. Even if the flood is just six inches deep, this can already make a small car float. Not to mention small items on the road.
The chances of something hitting your car are high, so it’s best to avoid flooded roads. Instead, look for an alternate route.
However, if you know that the flood is just 1-2 inches deep, you can still drive through it if there is no other way. Otherwise, you can just park your car and wait for the flood to subside.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Work Zones
Work zones can be temporary or long-term, especially if there’s construction going on.
Thankfully, work zones will almost always have several warning signs (and some flaggers) to signal you of the hazard ahead.
If you’re passing through a work zone, here’s what to do:
- Be alert for changes in directions signaled by a flagger or a warning sign.
- Slow down and do not tailgate any vehicles.
- Move away from the barriers and cones.
- If you’re driving at night, be extra alert for debris and people walking near the work zone.
- Be patient and take turns in passing through a work zone.
Safety Tips When Driving on Gravel and Dirt
Gravel and dirt don’t give you a lot of traction. Hence, you need to slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front.
Also, check out for uneven roads and try to avoid dips on the road so that your tires will not get stuck.
Safety Tips When Driving on Narrow Roads
Narrow roads might have ditches or shoulders. So when entering a narrow road, always check if your car can fit.
And, if it only allows one car to pass (in either direction), take turns and don’t try to squeeze in the narrow road.
Safety Tips When Driving Over Open Bridge Grates
It can be challenging and scary to drive on open bridge gates, but if you focus on your steering wheel and the road ahead, it’s not so difficult. Reduce your speed as well so you don’t lose control.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Woods
It gets dark when you drive through thick, wooded areas, so it’s best to turn on your headlights. If there is no one on the road, you can use your high beam lights so you can see even farther.
Safety Tips When Driving Through Uncontrolled Intersections
In rural areas, you might encounter a lot of uncontrolled intersections.
By that, we mean that there won’t be any warning signs or traffic lights to manage the flow of traffic.
If this is the case, always approach an intersection with caution. Look at all sides to check if there are cars passing. Pass only when it’s safe to do so.
Safety Tips When Driving with Wildlife
Expect wildlife when you’re driving in rural areas. There will usually be warning signs of some animal crossing. If you see this, slow down and prepare to stop.
Another thing is to look out for animals on the side of the road since this is a sign that they might end up crossing.
Some animals will be harder to see because of their fur color and their eyes not reflecting your headlights. So always watch for them, especially at night.
If there’s an animal out front, honk only once. Avoid honking repeatedly so you don’t rattle the animal.
And there you have it — the safe driving tips for the different Maine road conditions.
Driving is not always easy. Certain conditions will need even more attention and care. But if you follow the tips here, especially the general rule to slow down, then you can reduce the chances of accidents and collisions.
Be a safe and responsible driver!