Even the time of day can be a factor in low visibility conditions. With this in mind, use these tips to drive defensively and safely during these types of settings.
When snowflakes fall, it can affect your driving visibility. Make sure to brush away all the snow off your vehicle before getting behind the wheel. Not clearing the snow can affect your ability to see your surroundings and any remaining snow can slide down the roof of your vehicle or hinder another driver’s vision as the snow blows off. Or if a large chunk of snow falls off, it can possibly damage another vehicle.
If you encounter snow flurries while driving, use your windshield wipers to push the snow away and prevent buildup. Turn your headlights on so other drivers will see you. If the whiteout conditions are obscuring your vision, find a safe place to pull over and return to the roads when it’s clear.
When the forecast calls for rain, make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition to keep your windshield clear. Turn your headlights on to communicate with other drivers. Reduce your speed to avoid hydroplaning and try not to drive through large puddles. If the rain has taken a torrential turn and you still can’t see in front of you-stop your vehicle, pull over and return to the roads when it’s clear.
Driving in the fog can be hazardous. Although if you are caught driving in fog, reduce your speed, turn on the low beams or if your vehicle is equipped with fog lights, switch to those. Increase your following distance, be patient and avoid trying to pass any vehicles. If the fog is too strong, find a safe spot to pull over and return to the roads when it’s clear. For additional safety tips, read our Driving in Fog: Your Guide to Stay Safe.
Driving in the dark can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with your surroundings. Turn on your headlights to help brighten the road in front of you and make yourself visible to other drivers. Watch your speed to avoid making your stopping distance farther than what you can see with your headlights. Don’t forget to dish the dash lights inside your car as the bright lights can be a distraction and create reflections on your windshield. Lastly, watch out for wildlife that may run onto the road. Remember to slow down and stop rather than drastically turn from it.
In summer, the glare from the sun can be frustrating when you are driving. Use your vehicle’s visor to help block the sun. Keep a pair of polarized sunglasses inside your car for you to use on any sunny time. Increase your following distance and try to keep your windshield as clean as possible for you to see.