Different road conditions make it more challenging to drive.
And in Vermont, you’re sure to face all kinds of road conditions.
To ensure safety for all, we’re going to go over a few of the Vermont road conditions and give you some safe driving tips for them.
Here are the conditions we’ll be looking at:
- Floods and storms
- Reduced visibility
With our tips, you’ll know exactly what to do in these situations.
So let’s get to it!
How to Drive Safely through Floods and Storms
Because of its terrain, Vermont experiences a lot of rain.
It’s crucial to how to drive when these weather conditions turn aggressive.
Now, while flash floods aren’t that common, heavy rainfall or prolonged rain can lead to floods in some areas.
Here are some driving tips that can help you avoid accidents during the rainy season:
- Slow down. This is the first rule when driving on slippery roads. Slowing down allows you to have more control of your car.
- Increase your following distance from the car ahead. Always have 4 seconds of space between you and the vehicle. This is so you will have enough time to react to whatever the vehicle in front does.
- Obey detour signs. Do not go beyond areas marked as closed since there might be flooding there.
- Don’t assume that you can easily pass a flooded area. Some waters look shallower than they actually are.
- Leave your vehicle if it gets stuck in a flooded area. The current might sway your car, making it much more difficult to leave after.
- If you’re operating a large vehicle, be extra slow since the wind and the water can make it more challenging to control the vehicle.
- Use your headlights whenever the rain is harder and the fog is thicker. You should also use them when you can’t see 500 feet ahead.
How to Drive Safely During Winter
Winter driving is even more challenging than driving during the rain — the roads are damp, there are fewer daylight hours, and there’s both snow and ice on the road.
The general rule is to avoid driving during the winter if you can help it.
But if you have to leave the house, here are some safety tips you should follow.
Before leaving the house:
- Check the weather report and road conditions to know what to expect when you go outside.
- Change your tires to winter tires.
- Prepare an emergency kit that has a shovel, extra clothes, windshield scraper, blanket, food and water, charger, and first aid kit.
- Check your vehicle’s battery, brakes, windshield wipers, and defroster. They should be in good working condition.
- Clear the snow and ice that have accumulated on your vehicle. Your windows should be free of moisture.
- Drive extra slowly and increase your following distance.
- Be alert for black ice. These often form on bridges, ramps, and overpasses. Black ice is extra slippery and can cause skids.
- Avoid going near snow plows. These vehicles are big and have blind spots.
- Avoid sudden movements – braking, turning, and changing lanes. Sudden movements can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Stay focused on the road. Avoid all distractions.
- Do not turn on cruise control. Always be in control of your car even if you think the roads are just damp.
- If your wheels lock up, release the brake pedal and shift into a lower gear (if necessary) once you start slowing down.
- Use anti-lock brakes if your vehicle is equipped with it. Consult your vehicle’s manual on how to use it properly.
How to Drive Safely with Reduced Visibility
Because Vermont experiences a lot of rain, there’s a big chance that you might encounter fog even during the day.
So don’t think that reduced visibility only comes at night…
When there’s reduced visibility, you have to turn on your low-beam headlights. This avoids colliding with other vehicles on the road.
Some vehicles are equipped with daytime running lights that automatically turn on when there is reduced visibility.
If you don’t have them, just turn on your low-beam headlights. Do not turn on your parking lights – you don’t want other vehicles to think you’re parking.
Even without rain or fog, driving at night reduces your visibility.
I mean, the lack of natural light makes it difficult to see farther ahead.
To ensure that you don’t hit anyone, follow these safe driving tips:
- Turn on your high-beam headlights when you’re driving in the open country and there are few vehicles.
- Switch to low-beam headlights when there is an oncoming vehicle or when there are pedestrians on the road. Using high-beam headlights might momentarily blind them.
- Do not look directly at other vehicles’ headlights. If there is one flashing in your eyes, look to the right.
How to Drive Safely on an Interstate
Interstate roads are also called toll roads, expressways, throughways, etc.
These roads have several lanes and are mostly used for high-speed travel without interruptions.
When driving on interstate roads, keep in mind these safety tips:
- Check your surroundings to know what is going on around you.
- Be aware of where your exit ramp is. If you miss it, exit at the next available ramp. Do not reverse and go back to your missed exit.
- Do not slow down or change lanes right away. Always make a signal so other vehicles are aware of what you’re planning to do.
- If you’re entering the interstate, stay to the right of the road and turn on your signal. Wait for the traffic to ease up before entering.
- Vehicles entering the interstate should yield to vehicles already on the interstate.
- Do not stop on the interstate. If it’s an emergency, turn on your signal and try to move to the breakdown lane or as far to the right as possible. Raise the hood of your vehicle and tie a white cloth to indicate an emergency.
- Drive on the right lane unless you are passing another vehicle.
Whether you’re a new driver or a seasoned one, driving during these Vermont road conditions can be difficult.
It’s also more dangerous, especially when you don’t know what to do.
But with the safe driving tips we mentioned, you can ensure safety for all.
When in doubt, always drive slowly and be more alert!