Chapter 15 - Driving in bad weather

Chapter 15
 Makes
road surfaces slippery
 Harder to see others and for others to see
 Roadway markings can disappear
 Hearing and seeing can be difficult
Always use your low-beam headlights
to increase your visibility
Watch for other vehicles that may not
have their lights on
Use windshield defroster and rear
defogger to keep condensation off
Be on the lookout for pedestrians
darting across the street to get out of
the rain
Increase your space cushion in case
you or drivers begin to skid
Signal earlier
Drive in the tracks already made by
vehicles in front of you
 Reduce
speed by 25% when driving on
straight roads and by 50% on curves
 Don’t make sudden moves with the steering
 Don’t apply brakes too hard on wet surfaces
Wet brakes stop more slowly than dry brakes
 If
Let car coast to reduce speed
rainfall becomes too heavy, pull over to a
safe area and wait for the rain to let up
Occurs when a thin sheet of water gets between the
road surface and a vehicle’s tires, causing them to
lose contact with the road
Can start and speeds as slow as 30 mph and in water
little more than 1/8 inch deep
As speed increases, so does the chance of
Any sudden jerk of the wheel or a gust of wind can
send you in a uncontrolled skid
Take foot off the gas pedal and resist applying the
Ability to slow, stop, or even steer is reduced
Let the cars momentum ease down until you get grip
Make sure your tires are properly inflated with good
 Warning
signs of standing water
Visible reflections
“Dimples” created by raindrops hitting the water
“Slushing” sound from the tires
Loose feeling in your steering wheel
 Avoid
 If
If water is running, do not try to cross
Water as shallow as 18 inches can carry away an
average car
you can’t avoid it:
Make sure the water is low enough it does not
reach the bottom of the car
You are risking getting water into the engine
through the carburetor, air filter, or exhaust pipe
Can short out your electrical system
 Stay
close to the center and not the shoulder
 Use a lower gear
Snow can limit your vision
Roadway markings covered by snow
Traffic signals hard to see
 Cars that are not properly cleaned
 If the sun is shining, sunlight can reflect off snow and
ice causing a glare
“Winterizing” your vehicle
Add deicing solvent to your windshield washer
Tire chains
Make sure your spare is good
Have a flashlight, ice scraper, snow brush, ice pick,
snow shovel, gloves, road flares, jumper cables
Have cell phone handy and carry extra clothes and
 Clear
your vehicle of snow
 Drive back and forth to make a path for your
Use a shovel if the snow is deep
 Don’t
spin your wheels
Freezing and thawing occur constantly
during the winter months
The greatest danger is when sleet turns into
a thick sheet of ice
If it is raining or sleeting at the freezing
point, ice can form instantly
 Because air circulates below bridges
and overpasses, they tend to freeze
before other parts of the roadway
Roads can be completely dry and
overpasses can still have ice on them
Sand and/or salt is laid down to melt
the ice on a roadway
Not always effective
 Stay
in tracks created by other vehicles
 Reduce speed and increase following
 Avoid hard braking or accelerating
Coasting is the best maneuver
 Avoid
parking on snowy or icy roads
Especially if they are plowing the roadway
 If
you have to park downhill, make sure
there is enough room for you to get out
without backing up
 Don’t set parking brake
Can freeze and leave you unable to move your
 Fog
Most common early in the morning, late at
night, at high altitudes, and near bodies of water
Some of the worst crashes have occurred in fog
Reduce your speed and increase your space
Fog can give you false depth perception
Use low beam headlights
High beams make visibility worse
Pull over if you have to
Dust and Sand Storm
Common in deserts, agricultural areas, and sandy
beach areas
 Avoid driving in such conditions
Drivers could rear end you and visibility could be reduced
to zero
Usually occurs in spring or summer rains
 Pea-sized hail can reduce visibility and layer the road
with slippery pellets of ice
 Larger hail can crack windshields and dent car bodies
beyond repair
 Park your vehicle in a garage to keep it out of harm
 Lightning
Get indoors or stay in your vehicle
Avoid using any electronic devices, such as the
radio or cellular phone
 Tornados
and Hurricanes
If you are caught in a tornado while driving
Pull over immediately and seek shelter under an
overpass or in a ditch
Don’t try to chase a tornado
Hurricanes are accompanied by strong winds and
heavy rain
Try to park under a covered area, but stay away from
trees, telephone poles, or similar objects that can
topple and crush your vehicle
 Extreme
temperatures can create special
problems for vehicles
 Cold weather
Engines have to work harder in cold weather
Mixture of air and fuel in your engine is affected
If there is not enough anti-freeze or the wrong
kind, the radiator can freeze
Blocks coolant from getting to the engine, which can
cause it to overheat
 Cold
weather puts added strain on your
Battery has less power, and oil, transmission
fluid, and other lubricants get thicker
 Keep
vehicle parked in a garage if possible
 If you aren’t going to use your vehicle, it is a
good idea to have someone start it up for you
and let it run for a while
 Engine block heater?
 Cold
temperature causes windows to ice up,
reducing visibility
 Use an ice scraper and your defroster once
the engine is warm
 Moisture can build up inside the car, causing
windows to fog up even with the defroster on
Keeping a window open can help aid this
Sometimes, using your air conditioner can work
 Hot
weather can put stress on your vehicle
just as much as the cold
 Heat causes liquids to evaporate
Make sure you check all your fluids regularly in
this instance
 Heat
can shorten the life of a car’s battery
and cause hoses and belts to crack and tear
 In
very hot weather, gasoline can boil and
turn to vapor, causing your vehicle to “lock”
or stop running
 If this happens, shut the vehicle off and let it
cool down
 Once the fuel cools and condenses, you
should be able to restart
 Vehicles do not have this problem with the
use of fuel pumps, which push the fuel to the
Driving for long periods in hot weather, in heavy
traffic, up inclines, or using the air conditioner
at full blast on a very hot day, can cause the
engine to overheat
 Pull over and let the vehicle cool
Water can also be used as a temporary coolant if
Open the hood, windows, even turn on the heater to
draw heat away from the engine
Make sure the engine has cooled enough or risk
cracking the engine block
If it continues to overheat, don’t drive
Call a tow truck and have it looked at immediately

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