Winter is here, which means snow and ice are here, too. While snow can be fun, driving on snowy and icy streets can be extremely dangerous. There are a few things that you need to know about winter driving to stay safe.
Prepare Your Car
When the temperatures drop, make sure that you and your car are prepared for the season change. While you should always have an emergency kit in your car, making sure you have one ready for the winter should be your priority. An emergency kit should include items such as:
- Warm Clothes
- First Aid Kit
- Cell Phone Charger
- Snow Shovel
During the cold winter months, make sure to keep your gas tank full and if you know a storm is coming, go to your local gas station and fill up. Beyond your gas, make sure to top off your anti-freeze, cold resistant wiper fluid and be sure to check your wiper blades to ensure they are in good working order and that they can withstand the heavy snow and ice.
Before You Leave
If possible stay home, but if you must travel make sure you share your plans with someone and utilize these tips to get where you are going safely.
Clear your windshield, external cameras, and side mirrors of all snow and ice to ensure that you have clear visibility.
Remove all snow and ice from any sensors so that these features can function properly and before you leave, start your car and let it warm up (never do this in an enclosed space).
Finally, check the forecast before you leave. If things seem to be getting worse, you may want to wait a little longer before heading out.
On the Road
After you leave, there are rules you should follow when driving in winter weather.
- Never use cruise control.
- Decrease your speed during the winter months.
- It is better to arrive late than to get in a car accident.
- If you begin to skid, steer in the direction of the skid so that you do not overcorrect and you can stay in your lane when you regain traction.
- If the roads are icy or snow-covered, make sure you accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- Increase your following distance to give yourself more time and space to stop.
If You do Get Stuck
If you do find yourself stuck in your vehicle do not get out. This will provide you with shelter and keep you warm until you can reach safety.
Never try to walk in a severe storm. If you are attempting to dig yourself out, do not overexert yourself. Listen to your body and take a break if you are becoming fatigued. Make sure your vehicle is visible to ensure that other vehicles will not hit you and so that rescue personal can reach you easily.
Peoples Insurance is Here to Help!
Driving during the winter can be a hassle, but it is also necessary at times. When going out during the winter, be prepared for any event that could occur. Remember that the best option for traveling when the roads are bad is to not travel at all.
Stay safe this winter!