There are a few good things to love about the winter season. But, when it comes to driving, this season can be a bit dangerous. Every year, thousands of people get injured in vehicular accidents because of snowy roads. The ice on the roads makes them too slippery for the drivers to navigate which results in accidents. This is why it is imperative that you take safety precautions when you drive in these conditions.
If you must drive in bad weather conditions, here are some of the safe winter driving tips you need to remember.
- Check the car condition before you hit the road.
Make sure that it is ready by checking the tires, lights, brakes and windshield wipers. And because cold temperatures affect the ability of your car to start, double check the fluid levels. As much as possible, keep the gasoline tank full or half full. Your tires should also be properly inflated.
- Before you leave the house, clear the car hood and make sure you get rid of all frost and snow off your window.
- Bring an emergency kit with you in your vehicle.
The kit should include jumper cables, shovel, ice scraper, blanket, boots, and gloves, as well as a flashlight.
- Check the road conditions before you travel.
And when you’re ready to leave, make sure that the windows and windshield are clear, and that you have a good visibility. If the roads don’t seem safe, you may want to consider postponing the travel until they have been plowed and cleared.
- Watch your speed.
If it is entirely okay to drive with a speed of 65 miles per hour when the roads are dry, it is not the same case when the weather is bad. Driving at this speed during winter might get you in trouble, or worse, an accident. Make sure that you adjust your speed according to the weather outside.
- If you are stuck in traffic or just parked outside, leave the engine running if you are using any electrical options like the radio, windshield wipers or interior lights.
These things run down your battery fast, and the cold weather affects the ability of your battery to restart. So if you turn your engine off and back on again, you might not have enough battery power to start your vehicle.
- Always fasten your seatbelt.
You’ve got nothing to lose when you wear your seatbelt all the time. While many drivers don’t religiously follow this, you just need to follow this one simple rule if you care about your safety.
- Keep your headlights on.
During the winter season, you should keep your headlights on while driving to ensure maximum visibility.
- Maintain safe distances between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
When the road is slippery, it is a bit difficult to stop as quickly as you want or make an immediate turn. To avoid accidents, allow a greater distance between you and the car in front.
- Make use of anti-lock brakes so that you can maintain better control of your brakes especially during the winter weather.
If you don’t have ABS, the best thing to do is to step on your brake softly so as to allow more time for your tires to slow down. But, remember that there is no substitute for driving with precaution. Even if you have ABS and you are driving at fast speeds, you still might be putting yourself in danger.