Driving in the winter means experiencing ice, snow, sleet, rain, or a combination of all. These weather conditions can cause alarm with so few drivers on the road with experience in how to safely operate vehicles on slippery surfaces or even heavy rain. To help make it through these winter conditions, remember these tips to steer toward the safe side of driving.
- Adjust Your Speed: At any temperature, weather affects road conditions and can pose a problem. Decreasing your speed will allow you more time to respond when a problem arises.
- Expect Trouble: Studies have shown that 80% of all collisions could have been prevented with one or more seconds to react. This second can be gained by looking down the road to help identify problems ahead of time.
- Have the Necessary Equipment: An emergency situation can arise at any time and being prepared is a necessity. In your trunk, at a minimum you should carry:
- Jumper Cables
- Bag of Salt or Cat Litter
- Properly Inflated Spare Tire
- Working Flashlight and Extra Batteries
- Ice Scraper/Small Shovel
- Small Tool Kit
- Lights On: Turning your lights on allows you to see and also allows others to see you, even in daytime winter weather conditions. In snowy conditions, remember to clear signal, tail and head lights regularly.
- Prepare Your Vehicle: Before you head out, perform a quick check of your vehicle. Pay extra attention to your coolant level, battery power, windshield condition, tire tread, and inflation.
You can reduce your risk by simply practicing road safety habits, starting with the few listed above. Avoid getting caught by surprise, plan ahead and always be aware of weather alerts and advisories in your driving area before heading out on the road.