Parts of northwest Iowa have had their introduction to this year’s long-delayed winter weather. A lot of accidents resulted, and the D-O-T’s Scott Falb says following the speed limit isn’t a good idea when you’re reverting to winter-driving skills, as marked speed limits are for clear, dry days, and the law also says you’d better drive at speeds “reasonable and proper for conditions.” After a first snow or rain after a dry spell, people have more crashes. Falb says people tend to get a feel for how fast they can drive a familiar car and maintain control of it. But they don’t re-adjust that feel when weather’s wet or slippery.In wet and slippery conditions, your car doesn’t stop as well, slides more easily, so you should slow down and allow more distance. Falb recommends noting a mark where the car ahead passes, then count slowly and make sure you pass it two or three seconds behind them. That’ll leave a safe distance at any speed. Falb adds visibility suffers, too.He says people forget you can “over-run” the low-beam headlights, especially when the roadway’s wet. It doesn’t have to be snowy or icy.Rain also diffuses the light so you can’t see and you should slow down so you can see where you’re going at a speed where you can stop.
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