Michael Bilokonsky on Safe Driving in All Weather Conditions
Whether you drive for a living or you drive your car to work and back every day, you undoubtedly had to face some severe weather conditions that had put your driving skills to the test. One thing is for sure, you would always want to stick to the driving speed recommended for that type of road and that weather.
Michael Bilokonsky is the CEO and president of Whitehorse Freight. His lifelong work revolves around trucking, logistics, and, of course, driving. One of the biggest challenges that drivers face, he explains, is the weather patterns on their route. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short drive or a long haul, you should always plan your route carefully and take safety very seriously. From his vast experience, Michael sheds light on the best strategies to deal with the different weather conditions that drivers face, especially in the Fall, and how to be prepared.
Fog is not limited to the Fall months. It can happen just about in any season. However, in the Fall, with the sudden drop in temperatures, foggy conditions become more frequent. Every year, fog is responsible for about 450 fatalities in the U.S. alone. When fog blankets the world in gray, it’s important to put safety first.
The first thing to do when it gets foggy is to turn on the fog lights. These are low yellow beams that are close to the ground to illuminate the road. Yellow light gives you better visibility in the fog than normal white lights. It’s also recommended to hit the brakes when you approach a fog bank to alert the cars behind you to slow down as well.
The Fall season also brings in the rain. Rain creates driving hazardous conditions, even if visibility is slightly better than in the thick of the fog. According to Michael Bilokonsky, you should always slow the vehicle down to a crawl once it starts to rain. Five to ten miles an hour is good enough speed to prevent the car from hydroplaning where you will be driving on a sheet of water with little control over the vehicle. As much as possible, you should also avoid flooded parts of the road where it’s hard to measure the depth of the water. After you cross a puddle, take your foot off the gas and touch the brakes slightly to create friction and dry up the tires.
While it’s rare to meet snow on the road in the Fall except in the northernmost parts of the country, it is still a road hazard you have to be prepared for. The risk of skidding off the road and losing control correlates with the amount of snow on the road. Even all-wheel-drive vehicles can be left helpless and out of control when it comes to icy roads, warns Michael Bilokonsky. Again, you should slow down to about 10 miles an hour and watch out for black ice since it’s more treacherous. When you’re making a turn, you shouldn’t hit the brakes since this could send the car skidding and hitting other cars. If the vehicle starts to skid, take your feet off the brakes and gas and turn the car in the same direction it’s skidding.
Be Prepared for Bad Weather Conditions, Says Michael Bilokonsky
The way Michael Bilokonsky sees it, many weather-related car accidents can be prevented with a few easy steps to get the car prepared for the harsh conditions ahead. Since visibility is the first thing that gets impacted while driving in bad weather in the Fall, you should always check your windshield wipers. Replace any cracked rubber and make sure the wipers are functioning properly. You might also want to purchase winter wiper blades that prevent the pile-up of snow and do a better job of cleaning the windshield.
The vehicle tires should also be the focus of your car prep work before a long drive. Check that the treads are in a good condition using a coin. Slip the coin between the treads at different places to ensure that they are not worn out. Better yet, consider investing in winter tires to help you get through the bad weather conditions safely.