When winter strikes, drivers face tough challenges when they get behind the wheel. Snowy and icy roads are involved in almost one in four weather-related road accidents. These conditions make it difficult for drivers to see, slow down, and stop – all important factors that can increase the likelihood of a road accident.
That’s why we’ve prepared several handy tips for safe driving during the cold winter months.
1. In winter, don’t start driving until all ice and snow is cleared off your windows, headlights, side mirrors, taillights, and most importantly, license plates.
2. Always keep your windshield washer fluid tank full.
3. Before taking off in cold weather, it is important to allow the oil to flow. Therefore, start your car and let it warm up for a minute or two. This action will ease wear on your engine, as well as, other mechanical components.
4. Regularly inspect the tread on your tires for uneven or extreme wear.
5. Keep half a tank of gas in your car. The extra fuel can keep you nice and warm, in case you become stranded in extreme conditions.
6. When parking in snow, make sure you take care. A blocked tailpipe could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
7. Keep a winter survival kit in your car, including clothes, boots, blanket, gloves, medication, emergency flashlight, and non-perishable foods like crackers or candy bars.
8. If you are heading into a slip or skid, keep your foot off the accelerator and the brake.
9. If you hit a patch of ice and start to slide, get your foot off of the gas pedal! Don’t use the brake and don’t jerk the steering wheel. Instead, turn your car towards the skid.
10. If the road conditions are snowy or icy, do not panic! Most people tend to over-steer, do not do it! You just need to drive slowly.
Driving in winter conditions can be challenging, even for experienced drivers. Slowing down, wearing your seatbelt, allowing increase time to come to a complete stop, being aware of changing weather conditions, and devoting your full attention to the road can help you drive more safely.