Driving Tips during Bad Weather


It’s not simply snowy or wet roads that constitute terrible driving conditions. Dusk and night driving, rain, fog, snowstorms, drifting snow, direct sunlight, and driving into the sun are some of the worst conditions. Each of these issues is addressed independently below.


Cone center vision is not as sharp as during the day, but your eyes have not yet adapted to the low light levels of the night. Professional drivers avoid the roads during this time if they have the option. They will stop for meals and rests as often as possible so that their eyes can adjust to the darkness. If you must get behind the wheel, slow down and always stay vigilant.

Drove at Night

At night, our vision relies on contrast, where light colors pop against a dark background, and highlighting, when dark colors form a silhouette against a light background. Their visibility varies depending on how much light an object or person reflects to the observer. It’s common knowledge that people in light colors can be noticed further away than those in dark colors. A driver, however, cannot rely on pedestrians or wildlife to raise their visibility. It’s always a crapshoot whether your car’s headlights expose a pedestrian or parked vehicle with no lights until it’s too late.

Your nighttime driving reference point should be slightly above where the headlight and the road surface meet.

At night, peripheral vision is less affected than central vision. It would be best to practice using your peripheral vision while driving during the day to easily switch to using it when it gets dark. Use your core vision in that tiny light cone if you can’t avoid it. When you focus your eyes and brain in one place, your peripheral vision suffers. There wouldn’t be enough natural eye movement, potentially leading to eye fatigue. It’s been mentioned that you can see double or with only one eye.

How to Maximize Your Night Vision

It takes some time for your eyes to adjust to the dark. A minimum of 30 minutes is required to obtain 80% efficiency, and a minimum of 1 hour is needed to reach 100% efficiency. Simply gazing at bright lights, such as those from a car’s headlights or a streetlight, might undo some of your eyes’ ability to adjust to the dark. Therefore, keep the following in mind at all times when driving at night:

1. If you are about to encounter an automobile, use your peripheral vision to glance to the right of the road, higher than the point where the light and pavement meet.

Second, you should never go behind the wheel when you’re too sleepy to drive safely at night. Relax for a while.

Remember that nighttime driving makes it more challenging to judge distances accurately; you are more likely to underestimate your speed and overestimate the space to other vehicles. You need to be on high alert when evaluating distances to red lights because this hue poses unique challenges; give yourself more room than usual to stop at a red traffic signal and when following another vehicle.

In well-lit regions, traffic signals might be hard to spot. A driver should focus primarily on the road ahead, but he or she should also keep one or both eyes on the areas to the sides and above and below the vehicle.

5. Nighttime tailgating is a popular pastime for some motorists. This is an excellent technique, especially while traveling on unfamiliar roads, as the headlights of the car in front allow you to see further ahead and spot any hazards on the road’s shoulders through their silhouettes. However, when following another vehicle, you should maintain a greater distance than what seems to be safe, use your low beams alone, and avoid looking at the red taillights of the vehicle ahead of you since this can cause drowsiness in the driver behind you.

Six, don’t light up behind the wheel. Smoke impairs visibility and deposits a smoky film inside the windshield if the automobile is not ventilated adequately.

7. Have the windshield and lights washed (both inside and out). If dirt or a film is on the glass, visibility is severely impaired.

Keep your speed down to where you may safely stop in your line of sight.

Wet, dusty, snowy, and foggy driving conditions.

All three phenomena—the rain, the snow, and the fog—present the same challenge. As the driver of a modern car often sits roughly in the line of sight of the high-beam headlights, any rain, fog, or snow that falls on the windshield will cause the light to be reflected into the driver’s eyes. The light is reflected downward to illuminate the road better when using the low beams. Therefore, only the low beams should be used under these circumstances. Fog lights are helpful because they are mounted low to the ground, allowing for more light rays to be reflected onto the road below.

The high driving posture of some large vehicles, such as semis, improves the driver’s field of view. On evenings like this, maintaining a safe distance behind these vehicles is a wise habit to get into.

Light and Darkness

Driving through a forest or along a city street is risky when the sun is casting shadows from the surrounding trees or buildings. Dust on the windshield or tinted windows might obscure your view of pedestrians, vehicles, and other hazards on the road or sidewalk. You need to slow down and take off your sunglasses. This warning also applies to going into a tunnel.

On the Road to the Sun

Sun visors should always be used when driving into the setting sun. In this situation, having a dirty windshield is especially risky.

Consider the poor sight of the oncoming drivers when driving with the sun at your back. Turning on your headlights will let oncoming traffic know you don’t want them to stray into your lane.

“Kris Kolanko” is me, by the way. My partner and I run the website wannadrive.com. Our mission is to aid aspiring and current motorists in their quest for a driver’s license or a driving school, wherever they may be in the United States. Please feel free to look around our site and use the resources we provide.

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