Many parts of the country are already experiencing some winter weather, which means additional precaution needs to be taken on the road. Just because you have an auto insurance policy, doesn’t mean you’re going to want to use it, especially due to careless driving. The following five tips to can help you stay safe on the road during snowy and icy conditions.
1. Drive slowly:
Driving fast is dangerous in good conditions, so you probably want to consider keeping your speed down when it is snowing. According to The Weather Channel, decreasing your speed not only reduces the chances that you spin out, but also gives you plenty of time to stop so you don’t rear end the driver in front of you. You are not Jeff Gordon, so be sure to leave at least three times more space in front you when driving in winter weather to lower the risk of an accident.
2. Prepare your windshield washer system:
Visibility is a major issue in winter weather, so you may want to consider taking the necessary steps to prepare your windshield washer system leading up to the snowy months. Edmunds recommended replacing windshield wiper blades and cleaning the inside of your windows. Additionally, you may want to apply a water-shedding material to the outside of all windows and mirrors. Normal wiper fluid might not be effective in the snow, so taking a trip to the local hardware store to purchase anti-icing fluid could prove beneficial.
3. Ease up on the brakes and gas pedal:
One of the biggest concerns when driving in winter weather is skidding out. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the risk of this is high and can put you and other motorists in danger. To avoid skidding out, you might want to ease up on the brakes and gas pedal. For example, when speeding up, do so at a much slower pace than if you were in perfect conditions. It is also best to avoid a situation when you need to slam on the brakes, so be sure to keep plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
4. Install snow tires:
Most cars don’t come with snow tires, so if you live in an area that has tough winter weather, you may want to consider making a trip to the local auto shop to install snow tires before snow and ice arrives. According to Edmunds, tires need at least 6/32-inch deep tread to have adequate snow traction, so purchasing tires with this tread could improve your vehicle’s driving in the snow. Some of you may be under the impression that “all-season” tires are good enough in the snow, but that isn’t always the case, so considering snow tires could prove to be a good move to improve driving safety this winter.
5. Don’t pass snow plows:
Getting stuck behind snow plows and sanding trucks during storms can be aggravating, but it is probably in your best interest to stay behind them. If you attempt to pass, it could end up being a bad situation, as drivers of these trucks often have limited visibility. If they don’t see you trying to pass, you may end up getting side swiped or hit more seriously. Also, road conditions are often much worse in front of plows so your risk of other accidents may increase by passing these trucks. Remember that these people are on the road to make it safer to drive, so be considerate and keep a safe distance.
Looking for some additional tips for keeping you and your car safe on the road? Check out our Winter Driving page for the most up to date tips, videos, and guides to staying safe this winter.