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DRIVING IN BAD WEATHER
Highways are a marvelous example of modern engineering, but no matter how good or bad the roads are, they can still become very dangerous. Driving speeds can be very dangerous and should be reduced when sleet, snow or ice is on the roadway. Below are some helpful suggestions for driving in bad weather.
When the roads are slippery, look far ahead to anticipate emergencies or conditions that may require sudden maneuvering of your vehicle. Most skids that occur on the highway are caused by sudden stops or turning on slippery pavement.
When driving on hills, special precautions should be taken. When going over the top of a blind hill, go at a speed that will enable you to bring your vehicle to a stop in case the highway ahead is not clear. Remember that when going downgrade, both loss of traction and gravity are working against you. Wet, icy or snow covered pavement on downgrades are significant hazards and may cause your vehicle to slide or skid.
Do not try to drive around or through a scene where other vehicles have had trouble with the road conditions. The cause of the road conditions may still be there when you arrive.
You should always allow plenty of clearance between your vehicle and other vehicles, or fixed objects when maneuvering on bad road surfaces. Avoid driving on the shoulder of any road, particularly in wet conditions. Undermining caused by water and mud may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Brake line freeze can be very annoying and dangerous. Drivers should take care to protect the air supply from freezing up. Newer vehicles are often equipped with synthetic air lines, so the old solution of melting the ice with a torch is not a quick solution anymore. If a vehicle is not equipped with an air dryer or other ways to automatically expel water and other contaminants from air tanks, you should take the time to manually drain the air tanks every day.
During the winter months, the lighting system of a vehicle becomes very important. Nights are longer and the visibility is usually worse because of the weather. It is a good idea to inspect brake lights, turn signals, and tail lights on a vehicle more often during the winter months and to clean them when necessary so they can be easily seen by others around you on the highways.
Even though all precautions and good practices are followed, watch out! There will still be occasions when conditions become too hazardous to proceed. When conditions are bad, pull off the road to a safe place and notify your company the reason for the delay. A brief delay in your trip will be far less costly than a serious accident caused by bad weather.
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