Weather Impacts Your Driving in Scary Ways
Rain can send a driver into the ditch within a few seconds, and snow makes our reaction times even worse. This is a big wake-up call before another Treasure Valley winter weather sets in.
I just took a quiz that tested reaction times and I flunked. Bad.
The quiz asks you to find a police officer, a police car, a dog, and other things things that you might see on the road on a normal day. Then it asks you to find the same things after it adds a layer of rain, snow, and fog. I thought it would be a breeze but quickly realized that even when I think I'm on top of the situation, a downpour quickly proves that I'm not. It took me 12 seconds to find the hidden figures in the quiz when it gave me clear weather, it took 16 seconds with the sun's glare, 16 seconds in the snow, 24 seconds in a fog, and 50 seconds in heavy rain. I don't ever want to drive in the rain again. I'm hoping I was momentarily distracted by the lyrics in a song and I wasn't fully concentrating, but then, that would also be a bad thing on the road.
Apparently, I'm not alone. A study shows thick fog impacts the average driver’s reaction time by a whopping 75%, and snow impacts the reaction time by 34%. Torrential rain affects response times by 30%, and the sun's glare by 13%. Treasure Valley sunsets are beautiful, but no driver wants one in that space between the steering wheel and the drop-down visor on the way home from work. The glare makes it impossible to see what's in front of you.
The keys to staying safe on the road are keeping your distance from the car in front of you and fighting off the urge to tailgate, getting vehicle checks before setting off on a long road trip, making frequent stops to stay alert, and avoid feeling numbed out by the road, and getting regular eye checks to make sure they are in good shape.
The driving weather quiz is HERE if you want to test your skills and see how you stack up against your friends and co-workers.
A mild Treasure Valley winter would be good, in so many ways.