Tips for Safer Winter Driving

Tips for Safer Winter DrivingWinter is known to be an especially hazardous driving season. Unfortunately, while driving in the winter can be a daunting task, it is also frequently a necessary one. If you are about to take on the risky conditions as a new driver or even an experienced one, it is always beneficial to freshen up on some safety driving tips beforehand.

Vehicle Preparation

Make sure you are taking care of the proper maintenance your car requires. Doing a battery, tire, windshield wiper, and fluid check could make all the difference. Prepare for emergencies with a flashlight, jumper cable, and an ice scraper. If you were to become stalled, turn on the dome light and try restarting your car. If you’re able to, clear exhaust so you can run it to help stay warmer. Be fully familiarized with your routes and how your breaks work on wet or icy roads.  Be sure to check the weather conditions before you leave and keep your gas tank at least half full. This is a good preparation checklist to reference when winter driving.

Accident Prevention

Never drive too tired or fatigued. This simple tip dramatically reduces driving risks. If possible, rotate drivers every three hours, or take a break if necessary. Keep a good eye out for pedestrians; harsh winter conditions can make it harder to see them or make an unexpected stuff. You also do not want to mix radial tires with other types of tires, and remember to avoid braking while going uphill. Another great prudent measure is to slow down and increase following distance between you and other vehicles. The slipperier the conditions should mean the greater the distance between cars.

Finally, avoid using any drugs or alcohol before driving under any circumstances; the mix of the two can be especially dangerous. Always be sure to designate a sober driver if you are planning to drink at all.

While You’re Driving

Don’t underestimate the power of the buckle. Use it every time you get in your vehicle no matter the distance. Take advantage of child safety seats and keep in mind that children under the age of 12 are safer in the backseat. Never use cruise control while driving on a slippery surface, and avoid using the parking brake in rainy or snowy weather. Be looking in the direction you’re going at all times because you truly never know if an unexpected obstacle will arise.

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