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Driving in Bad Weather

You probably have experienced a wide range of driving challenges, including some caused by inclement weather. As a senior driver, how can you continue to be safe when driving in bad weather conditions?

Stay in control. Practicing responses to simulated emergency situations under safe conditions can reduce emotional impact and increase chances of correct performance. The driver who knows what to do in an emergency is more likely to stay in control when driving in bad weather.

Respond to skids. The first step in regaining traction is to recognize that you are experiencing a skid. Regardless of the cause of the skid, look and steer toward your intended path of travel. Keep your eyes focused on where you want the vehicle to go. Here are additional tips on three skid situations.

Responding to front tire skids: Smoothly ease up on the accelerator. This will transfer more weight to the front wheels, increasing the front tires’ traction.

Responding to rear tire skids: Avoid using the brakes. As the rear tires regain traction, continue steering toward your intended path of travel.

Counter-steering: Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go, toward your intended path of travel. Most drivers tend to steer this way instinctively in their attempt to correct a rear-tire skid. When you counter-steer, straighten the wheels as soon as you feel the rear of the vehicle begin to realign with your intended path of travel.

Be careful when you counter-steer — it is not enough to correct for only the first over-steer skid. The rear of the vehicle may swing back in the opposite direction of the first skid (“fishtailing”). Be ready to counter-steer quickly if more skidding occurs. You need quick and correct reactions for successful skid recovery.