Winter Driving Tips: Stay Safe on the Road
by Steve Dearborn
As soon as winter arrives, we are quickly reminded how the road conditions can change. Even the safest and most experienced of drivers can find winter driving to be nerve wracking and a challenge. Among many of the car accident causes, inclement weather is a contributing factor to many car accidents during the winter months. According to Raleigh Car Accident Lawyer, Chris Brantley, winter weather conditions can create many dangerous situations for drivers by greatly reducing visibility and reducing ability to control vehicles, which may result in an accident.
By taking extra precaution and preparation during winter weather, drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in a preventable car accident.
Prepare for Your Vehicle for Winter
Before you hit the road, and even before the snow flies, itís a smart decision to get your car ready for winter. A poorly working vehicle is never safe, but itís even more risky in winter months when the chances of having car troubles is greater due to cold temperatures and unpredictable weather. Take your car to a trusted mechanic and have the following parts checked out and replaced if needed: tires, fluids, and battery. Additionally, get in the practice of keeping your gas tank full or at least half full.
Before Your Hit the Street
Once you get the ďall clearĒ on your vehicle, youíre safe to hit the road once the snow and ice arrives. Before you travel, whether itís a short commute or a longer road trip, always make sure your windshield and all windows are clear of ice and snow; also give them a chance to defrost. Failure to clear the windshield of snow can significantly reduce your visibility, which can lead to an accident. Itís also a good idea to check out the predicted forecast. Even if the streets are dry and the skies are clear, dangerous winter weather can arrive at any time. If youíre planning on a lengthy commute, make sure your car is equipped with a winter emergency kit which can include a blanket, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight, and warm winter gear.
Commuting during a snowfall or when roads are coated with ice and snow can be stressful. As with other weather and road conditions/scenarios you can never predict or control how other motorists will drive. When the snow is falling or blowing, itís crucial to pay attention to the road and keep your distance from other cars. Remember, when the roads are icy, it takes longer for your vehicle to come to a full stop. Itís also important to plan ahead and donít rush. If you drive too quickly, itís easy to lose control of your vehicle.
Always buckle up and never engage in distracting behavior, such as phone calls or texts (even at a stoplight). If you arenít a confident winter driver, try to practice during the daylight hours in a parking lot or somewhere safe. Itís better to learn how to drive in all types of weather conditions than avoiding driving all together.
With proper preparation, your winter commute can be as safe and accident-free as every other season.