Here in the Pacific Northwest we are intimately familiar with fog and rain. Oftentimes it’s heavy rain. While most of us in these part like to think of ourselves as expert drivers in foggy and wet conditions, statistics show that driving in adverse weather conditions, like rain and fog can significantly increase the risks and dangers posed to driver, passengers as well as other motorists and pedestrians.
With this in mind it is essential to drive with your undivided attention on the task at hand – which is driving your vehicle – when setting out in poor weather. Often, your best option would be to wait out the bad weather and drive when the roads are clear and safe again. If that’s not an option, follow our common sense tips below…
Driving in Heavy Rain
In addition to the reduced visibility caused by heavy rain, drivers must be ready for the event of hydroplaning. This is a fairly common occurrence for vehicles travelling at high speed on a wet surface. The result is that the car’s tires begin to spin on the surface of the water rather than gripping the road. This can reduce the braking and steering control of the driver.
- Stay Focused and don’t Panic — the only way to stop your vehicle from hydroplaning is by reducing the velocity. So hole the wheel and slow down. Remember that the first few minutes of rain are the most dangerous due to the combination of oil and water on the road. Taking a few minutes to allow the initial danger to pass before setting out can possibly save your life.
- Lights on — increase your visibility to other drivers by turning on your low beams. This is actually a law in many states, even during daylight hours.
- Give more distance — add some room to the distance you are keeping between cars. An extra 2-3 seconds between you allows for better reaction time.
Driving in Heavy Winds
Drivers never assume their car will be affected by a sudden wind, which is the primary reason this weather feature requires special considerations. A strong gust of wind can catch a fast-moving vehicle at a bad angle and cause it to flip or swerve out of control.
Areas where this can be an especially dangerous hazard are mountain roads, highway over-passes, and tunnels. These areas can have geographic features that function as wind funnel with devastating consequences. Follow these safety points when driving in strong winds.
- Anticipate Sudden Gusts — if the wind is picking up assume it can happen at the worst possible time. Drive carefully and reduce your speed when driving through areas prone to high wind and in the aforementioned danger spots.
- Beware of Larger Vehicles — larger trucks, tractor-trailers and recreationals verhcñles are far more susceptible to the dangers of high winds. Exercise extreme caution when passing or driving alongside them as the high winds can cause them to swerve out of control.
- Grip the wheel Securely — always make sure you are fully controlling the vehicle as it only takes a moment to lose control and have a collision.
Call the 24-7 Towing Team
With over 50 combined years of towing service experience, the 24-7 Towing Team is comprised of dedicated, trained towing professionals whose prime focus is to proudly serve the Portland and Vancouver metro area’s tow truck requests. We’re a full service company which means we take most roadside assistance calls like jump start services, flat tire assistance, and mobile locksmith services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition we provide and a variety of towing services including motorcycle / ATV transport and long distance towing.
Additionally we’re fully licensed, bonded and insured in both Oregon and Washington and – as the name implies – available on a 24/7 basis with our versatile selection of tow trucks and service equipment to address your unique Roadside Assistance needs.
Give us a call today at (503) 468-5090 and a knowledgeable representative on our 24-7 Towing Team will be happy to help.