It’s crucial that disabled drivers know how to stay safe on the roads all year round. This means being aware of the particular threats that come when driving in each season. Each of the four seasons has its own unique conditions that can make driving hazardous and potentially lead to accidents.
Driving always entails risk. No matter what season it is, other road users will sometimes fail to drive responsibly, and weather conditions will be treacherous on occasion. To do your part and stay safe on the road, its vital to practice safe, defensive driving. But while driving responsibly is always the right thing to do, it is also necessary to take special precautions at different times of the year.
Read on for some seasonal safety tips to protect handicap drivers year-round.
Safety Tips To Protect Handicap Drivers
There are safety tips for disabled drivers that apply specifically to different seasons. Summer roads can be busier than usual and bright sunlight can be distracting or debilitating. In fall, wet leaves can make roads slippery and treacherous. Winter ice and snow can turn highways into ice rinks. Spring rains can seriously impair visibility.
With each season throwing up such unique challenges, it’s vital that disabled drivers follow season-specific safety tips. Today, we will outline some of the dangers of driving at different times throughout the year, and give some specific travel safety tips for each season. But first, let’s outline some general road safety tips that apply all year round.
Drive The Safest Vehicle You Can Afford
Always purchase the best quality vehicle you can afford and keep it regularly serviced, well maintained, and in good working order. Check your vehicle’s lights, tires, mirrors, brakes, and windshield regularly.
As a rule of thumb, the larger the vehicle, the safer it is. You have a far better chance of surviving an accident in a larger vehicle than you do in smaller vehicles. Also, newer models have better safety features.
Have Appropriate Vehicle Adaptations For Your Disability
Disabled drivers often need to use vehicle adaptations such as hand controls and pedal extenders. Stay safe by making sure you have the appropriate vehicle adaptations for your disability.
Keep Informed About Weather And Traffic Conditions On Your Route
Always know what to expect on any journey. This means checking the weather forecast and scoping out what traffic conditions are likely to be so you can prepare.
Practice Defensive Driving
Safe, defensive driving involves…
- Always having safety as a first priority.
- Being aware of your surroundings.
- Not relying on good driving from other road users.
- Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
- Driving at a safe speed.
- Avoiding distractions.
Stay Alert And Never Drive When Sleepy
Drowsy driving is a major cause of road accidents. If you’re feeling tired or drowsy, always pull over and take a break. Have a coffee, take a nap, get some air and stretch your legs – do whatever is necessary to wake yourself up and ensure you’re alert before getting back on the road.
Keep Suitable Emergency Equipment In Your Vehicle
Always keep the following safety equipment in your vehicle:
- Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench.
- Tool kit.
- Jumper cables.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Reflective triangles and a reflective vest.
- First aid kit.
- Drinking water.
- Back-up medication
- Fire extinguisher.
- Duct tape.
- Cell phone and car mobile phone charge.
- Warm clothes and blankets.
- Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction.
- Windshield washer fluid.
Never Drink And Drive
Even one drink impairs your ability to drive safely, so drinking even what you deem to be a safe amount of alcohol before you drive is not worth the risk.
Dangers Of Summer Driving
The main dangers of summer driving are heat and bright sunlight. Heat can cause vehicle breakdowns, and sunlight can reduce visibility.
Summer Travel Safety Tips
Prepare your vehicle for hot summer weather in the following ways:
- Check tire pressure.
- Check your vehicle’s coolant system, radiator, and pressure cap.
- Check hoses and belts for signs of blisters, cracks, and wear.
- Check fuel, water, and coolant levels and look for leaks.
Always bring proper hydration to avoid dehydration, and wear sunglasses to make sure you are not blinded by bright sunlight.
Dangers Of Fall Driving
So, what are the main hazards of autumn driving? The main hazards of fall driving are leaves. Fallen leaves make roads slippery and can hide objects and potholes.
Fall Travel Safety Tips
Stay safe in fall by making sure your vehicle’s tire pressure is correct and that tire treads are not worn down. Practice safe, defensive driving, make sure your windscreen wipers are working well, and never park over dried leaves, as this can be a fire hazard.
Dangers Of Winter Driving
Ice, snow, and rain are the major dangers of winter driving.
Winter Travel Safety Tips
Stay safe in winter by driving slowly, maintaining extra distance between yourself and other vehicles, making sure your vehicle has the correct tires for slippery surfaces, and always packing warm clothes, blankets, and food in your vehicle.
Dangers Of Spring Driving
Spring weather conditions can be very changeable. Rain and high winds can be followed by sleet and even snow, and then bright sunshine.
Spring Travel Safety Tips
What are some safety tips for driving in spring? In this season you should be very cognizant of quickly changing weather conditions. Rain and wind can make controlling your vehicle more difficult, so always stay alert, practice safe, defensive driving, and avoid distractions while driving in spring.
Featured image by Jantine Doornbos on Unsplash