Fog, rain, and winter are considered road conditions that drivers have to be extra cautious in. Other dangerous road conditions include work zones and curves.
And these are ever present in Ohio.
This is why it’s a good idea to brush up on safe driving tips, regardless of whether you’ve been driving for a few months or many years.
And this is why, in this article, we’ll walk you through the different Ohio road conditions and give you the safety tips for each one. Plus, we include tips to prepare for these events.
So let’s get started.
How to Drive Safely through Fog
Fog can occur any time of the day — and it greatly reduces your ability to see and be seen.
So in these cases, here are the safety tips:
- Follow the speed of traffic. Do not go faster to avoid accidents.
- Use low-beam headlights. Do not turn on your high-beam headlights as this can reflect the fog and make it harder to see.
- If you are expecting fog, you should install fog lights before heading out. Fog lights help improve visibility because they can cut through the fog and mist.
- Regularly check all your sides and back for vehicles and pedestrians.
- If your car got hit and you cannot move it to the side, leave the vehicle and keep the flashers and lights on. You may also set up flares if the fog is very thick.
How to Drive Safely in Winter
Winter driving requires a different kind of caution. Not only is visibility low, but the roads are very damp and slippery. Also, there are cases when you won’t be able to see the ice on the road.
Here’s how you can stay safe while winter driving:
- If you are expecting thick snow, change to winter tires. Winter tires provide more grip.
- Always check your brakes and your tires before leaving the house. Make sure they are in proper condition.
- Prepare an emergency kit in your car. This includes, but is not limited to, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, batteries, water and snacks, and first aid.
- Remove any snow left on your windshield and windows.
- Bridges, overpasses, and shaded spots ice first, so take extra caution when driving in these parts.
- If your vehicle starts to skid, remove your foot on the gas pedal and steer your vehicle where you want it to go. Do not panic.
- If you need to slow down, do not suddenly slam on the brakes. Always brake slowly.
How to Drive Safely through Floods
There are times when floods are expected — and times when it is unexpected.
Either way, if you see a flood, here’s what to do:
- If you are just entering the flooded road, avoid it, especially if you’re not sure how deep the water is.
- Look for a post or a wall to estimate how deep the flood is. If it’s only a few inches, you may enter the road, but with caution.
- Drive slowly, so you don’t spray water on other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Drive steadily. Avoid making too many turns.
- To know when you should avoid the flood, check if the water level is more than half of your tires. If it is, turn around.
How to Drive Safely through Work Zones
Work zones are marked by orange signs indicating that there is temporary construction or maintenance in the area.
Here’s what to do when you encounter a work zone:
- Follow the signs to know where you can pass. If there is a traffic enforcer, follow their directions instead of the road signs in the area.
- If you can avoid the work zone, the better. Look for alternate routes in advance.
- Pay attention to people who might be crossing the road. Remember, there are going to be workers in work zone areas.
- Stay away from the barricades.
- If there is merging traffic, take turns. Do not speed and pass other vehicles.
How to Drive Safely through Curves
Curves can be tricky because you have to stay in your lane while making sure you don’t end up too close to the curb.
If you’re unsure how to safely maneuver a curve, here are some tips:
- When entering a curve, ease off the gas and slowly step on the brake. If you need to change gears, do so.
- If you can, check if there is a car in the opposite lane. If there is, make sure to always stay in your lane.
- Be alert for road signs indicating the curvy roads ahead. This will help you adjust your speed and prepare.
- Some curves are sharp and may have blind spots. Always expect oncoming traffic.
- Slowly steer your vehicle towards the curve. Do not steer too much.
How to Drive Safely at Night
Okay, we get that this isn’t a road condition per se.
However, it has the same dangers as driving in fog or winter with low visibility.
Plus, it’s hard to avoid driving at night, so the best you can do is follow these safety precautions:
- Turn your headlights on between sunset and sunrise.
- Use high-beam headlights when there are no vehicles around. High beams allow you to see much farther. But if you are approaching traffic, you are required to dim your high-beam headlights.
- Reduce speed and maintain a longer distance between the car in front.
- Check your sides for hazards and pedestrians.
- Do not wear colored lenses at night.
- Dim the screens on your dashboard so the glare is reduced. Looking at a bright dashboard or screen makes it harder for your eyes to adjust to the darkness outside.
- Be aware of the road signs guiding you for directions and hazards.
And those were the safe driving tips through the different Ohio road conditions.
If you’re not confident driving during these conditions, it’s always best to stay at home or have someone else drive.
But if you have no choice, always be alert and patient. There’s no need to speed up.
Also, always keep these safety tips in mind and follow them.
Always be a safe and responsible driver!