In North Dakota, you’ll meet all kinds of road conditions.
And if you don’t take the right precautions, it can lead to accidents.
This is why, here, we’re going to give you safe driving tips for the different North Dakota road conditions. We’ll look at how to drive safely in:
There’s no denying that driving under these conditions is more challenging. So let’s show you what to do!
How to Drive Safely in Winter
If you can’t avoid driving in winter, the most important thing to remember is that speeding can cause your vehicle to skid. So regardless of how thin or thick the ice is, slowing down is a must.
Here are other things to remember:
- Change to winter tires if it tends to snow heavily in your area. Winter tires have more grip and traction even in thick snow.
- Test your tires and brakes before leaving your home. These need to be in top condition, especially during the winter season when the road is very slippery.
- Keep your gas at least halfway full so the gas line won’t freeze.
- Prepare an emergency kit specifically for winter. This includes a blanket, flashlights, warm clothing, and a shovel.
- Increase your following distance from other vehicles. You don’t want to have to slam on your brakes and be endangered by skidding.
- Do not turn on cruise control. You need to be in full control when the roads are wet.
- If you get stuck, use the shovel to remove the snow that blocks your tires. Do not steer your wheel in different directions to get rid of it.
How to Drive Safely in Rain
Similar to winter, the rainy season can cause vehicles to skid. In some cases, hydroplaning may happen.
Hydroplaning is when a layer of water is between the tires and the road, making the tires lose grip and control. This often happens when you are driving fast or when your tires are worn out.
So before you head out when it’s raining, do the following:
- Check your tires. Make sure it is not worn or deflated.
- Turn on your headlights when visibility becomes low.
- Use your windshield wipers when droplets of water make it hard to see the front. Make sure that visibility is high.
- When you need to brake, do so gently. Sudden braking might make the car lose grip.
- If you experience hydroplaning, take your foot off the gas, don’t slam on the brakes, and steer your car in the direction you want to go.
- If the rain is too heavy, do not hesitate to stop and pull over in a safe location. Strong rains make it even more difficult to see and control your car no matter your speed.
How to Drive Safely through Flood
When it comes to regular floods, drivers can find a different route. Knowing which roads are prone to flooding can help you avoid them altogether whenever it’s raining.
But if you’re already in an area with a flood, here’s what to do:
- Drive carefully. Driving fast will spray a lot of water on other vehicles and may also bring water to your engine.
- Use your headlights to make yourself visible.
- Be alert for debris that may be floating in the water. Avoid them at all costs.
- Look for a post or an object that you can use as a reference to determine the depth of the flood. If it’s too high for your car, take a different route.
- Avoid going near power lines.
- If you get stuck, abandon your vehicle and seek higher ground.
How to Drive Safely at Night
One way or another, you’ll have to experience night driving. The challenge is that the darkness makes it difficult to see, regardless of how good your eyesight is.
When driving at night, remember these:
- Avoid any distractions, especially screens that produce a glare. This makes it even more difficult for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
- Avoid looking directly at headlights.
- Be alert for animals and pedestrians crossing. Remember, they usually have no light so it’s hard to spot them.
- If there are no oncoming vehicles, use your high-beams to illuminate a farther distance. If there are other vehicles, use your low-beam lights.
- Keep your eyes moving to avoid fatigue and eyestrain.
- If you are tired or sleepy, park your car and rest.
How to Drive Safely in Roundabouts
Collisions in roundabouts are common. To avoid that, here are some safety tips:
- Slow down.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- You should also give way to circulating traffic if you are entering the roundabout.
- Stay in your lane unless you need to exit.
- Do not pass or overtake trucks.
How to Drive Safely on an Interstate
Interstate speeds are usually higher than city streets. Because cars are faster, extra caution is needed.
Here are some safety tips to consider:
- Use turn signals and make your intentions clear. Wait a while before turning. This allows other vehicles to take note of your intention.
- Keep to the rightmost lane if you are driving slowly.
- If you have to stop, move to the emergency lane or the shoulder and raise your hood to signal that you are having a problem.
Reading the Road
When driving through different North Dakota road conditions, always look at signs that are meant to guide you on where to go, the hazards ahead, and alternate routes.
Also, look at pavement markings to identify where you need to be, especially when you are planning to make a turn at the intersection.
If you need to park, always go to a designated parking area. You are not allowed to park in restricted areas unless you are having problems with your vehicle.
If you ask us, the best way to avoid accidents during North Dakota road conditions is to avoid driving in heavy snow or rain. But if that is not an option, the next safest thing is to slow down and always be extra cautious when driving.
Be alert and remove all distractions, too.
This applies to all road conditions.