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Safe Travels: Tips for Driving in the Rain & Snow

Winter weather, spring storms, summer monsoons and fall flurries. Every season has its fair share of bad weather that drivers must brave. But if you’re driving a rental car in a city you’re not very familiar with, following a few simple rules of the road will be more important than ever.

In the Rain

  • Keep it slow. Even if roads don’t look that wet, you can’t play it safe enough. So instead of plowing along at the posted limit, take your foot off the gas a bit and travel at a safer pace.

  • Light your way. Make yourself even more visible by turning your lights on – showing fellow travelers where you are.

  • Give yourself room. Double your stopping distances and – while driving – leave extra room between yourself and the car ahead.

In the Snow

  • Beware the bridges (and overpasses). Both of these areas tend to freeze first, so slow down, keep your pace steady and don’t make any sudden changes in direction.

  • Clear your view. Thoroughly de-ice all of your windows before hitting the road. And after, be sure to use your defroster and windshield wipers to keep your windows clear.

  • Slow and go. Drive at a safe speed (generally less than the posted speed limit), but not so slow that your car will get stuck when driving in deeper snow.

  • Room a plenty. Same as with driving in the rain… give yourself lots of extra room to stop.

In the Fog

  • To the right, to the right. Keep your car in the right-hand lane… and keep your speed down (way down).

  • Light it up. Turn your low beams… or, if there’s a very thick fog, turn on your fog lights (just be sure to switch to your low beams once visibility increases).

  • No hugging. Don’t hug the bumper of the car in front of you. It won’t leave enough room for you to stop safely should the driver abruptly brake.

In High Winds

  • Be aware. Note the vehicles surrounding you. High winds can be bigger issues for trucks, buses, RVs and any vehicles towing trailers, so try to steer clear of these vehicles when the winds start whipping.

  • Slow it down. Reduce your speed and keep your hands on the wheel. And be especially mindful of when you’re entering/leaving an area protected from the winds – since this will certainly affect the way you drive.

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