It’s not every day that you’ll encounter slippery roads or wildlife crossing, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never drive through these road conditions.
This is why it’s important to be prepared for any and all New Mexico road conditions.
And this is why, today, we’re going to give you safe driving tips for these road conditions:
- Curvy roads
- Slippery roads
So shall we?
How to Drive Safely in Curvy Roads
You’ll meet several curvy roads in New Mexico — and we mean the twisting types.
Now, curvy roads are dangerous because two motions are happening to the wheels – acceleration and inertia. These two forces make it much more difficult to control your car, especially when you’re driving fast.
So here’s how you can travel safely on a curve:
- Turn as little as possible so you don’t occupy the other lane and collide with other vehicles.
- When you see the “Curve Ahead” warning sign, start slowing down. Slow down even if you’re not yet on the curve.
- Keep to the side of your lane opposite the curve. This reduces the turn you need to make.
- Only accelerate when you’ve passed the curve. Do not speed up while you’re turning because you might lose control of the car.
How to Drive Safely in Slippery Roads
Slippery roads are caused by snow, rain, or spills. There are times when a warning sign will tell you of a slippery road ahead, but in the absence of these signs, take your cues from the weather.
To reduce the chances of skidding on a slippery road, here are some tips:
- If you don’t have to leave, don’t drive when the roads are icy. The best prevention is avoidance.
- Change into winter tires if the snowfall is thick. Ordinary tires don’t have that much grip when snow is a few inches on the ground.
- Make sure to remove snow on your mirrors and windshield. Keep them clear so you can see what’s ahead.
- Do not speed up even if you’re within the speed limit. During wet conditions, driving fast will make your tire ride up on the water, making it skid. Maintain control by driving slowly.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel to always have control of your car.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
- If you experience skidding, do not slam on the brakes. Take off your foot on the brake and gas pedal and try to focus on your steering. Always steer towards where you want to go without oversteering the wheel.
How to Drive Safely through Flood
Even when you’re not driving, always keep tabs on areas that are prone to flooding. Before you head out during heavy rains, always check the news for flash floods and flooded roads.
If you can avoid going out during a flood, do so. Otherwise, here’s what to do:
- Test your brakes and tires before heading out.
- Survey each road before entering. Look for signs of flooding.
- If there is a flood, look for a sign or an object that you can measure the water’s height. If you’re not sure how deep it is, do not proceed.
- Always look for an alternate route that isn’t flooded.
- If the flood is too high, park your car and get out of it right away. Currents can sway your car and you might get stuck inside.
- Drive steadily when you’re in a flooded area.
How to Drive Safely with Wildlife
There is a lot of wildlife in New Mexico, especially in rural areas. Expect to encounter animals when you’re driving through forests, valleys, and meadows.
When you’re passing these roads, take into account these driving tips:
- Be more alert and look to the side of the road to check for animals crossing.
- If an animal shows up, don’t speed past them. Slow down and let them cross.
- Do not honk excessively at the animal. This might make them nervous.
- Assume that even if you wait, the animal might not cross. So prepare to drive out of the way and avoid the animal.
- Animals with hooves can slip when there’s water or snow on the road. If it’s snowy or rainy, stay a good distance away from crossing animals.
How to Drive Safely in Traffic
Traffic is a common road condition in New Mexico. So it’s highly important to know how to safely go through it.
Here are some tips:
- Drive at the same speed as other vehicles on the road. Do not overspeed or slow down. If you’re much slower than the rest of the cars, you may be another cause of traffic.
- When entering a roadway or highway that has traffic, slow down and try to match the speed of the vehicles on the road where you’re going.
- Take turns in merging. Do not attempt to cut a vehicle because you might collide with each other.
- Do not stay too close to the car ahead. Leave enough space in case they stop or reverse.
- Slow-moving vehicles are marked with an orange warning sign at the rear. These vehicles cannot travel more than 25 mph, so you have to give way or pass them when it is safe to do so.
- Don’t get distracted. Once you get distracted, you will be less aware of what’s going on. In turn, that can lead to a collision. Some common forms of distractions are using your phone, eating, reaching for something from the back seat, having an argument, etc.
And those were the safe driving tips for different New Mexico road conditions.
If you ever find yourself driving through these conditions (and you will sooner or later), keep all the tips you learned here in mind. More than that, attempt to follow the tips at all times.
Remember, these are there to keep you safe.
If you forget the safety tips, the best thing to do when in tough road conditions is to always slow down. Slowing down prevents a lot of accidents from happening.