Winter is a wonderful season, filled with joy and merriment for many people around the world. It’s the time of year when the weather starts to get colder, snow may even start to fall, and many people want to spend a lot of time warm and cozy in their homes with good friends and family by their side.
Still, many folks still have to hit the roads to get to work and so on, with approximately 70% of the entire US population having to deal with snowy roads in winter. As anyone who has ever tried to drive in snow and ice will know, it can be quite a challenge.
In fact, your risks of accidents will usually rise when winter comes along, as icy roads can be extremely treacherous and snowfall can make it hard to see the road ahead of you and hazards in the surrounding area.
For these reasons, it’s important to adapt to winter conditions with smart, sensible, defensive driving. Read on for some top tips to help you stay safe at the coldest time of the year.
Slow it Down
Even in summer, it’s always recommended to stick within the speed limits and avoid driving too fast on any kind of road, even the highway, but this is especially important in the winter. When snow and ice are on the roads, brake times can be increased, making it much harder to slow down your car and come to a complete stop.
Since it takes longer to slow down at traffic lights, intersections, and stop signs, drivers can get into accidents far more easily.
So our first tip for safe winter driving is to slow your speeds a little. Many experts recommend driving at least 5-10 mph slower in winter, especially if it’s snowing or the roads are icy, to give you time to react if you need to suddenly brake.
If you want to avoid any legal issues related to car accidents, as well as all of the injury risks and other problems that can arise when automobile collide in winter, it’s wise to make sure your car is properly equipped to cope with the frosty conditions.
If there’s a lot of snow in your area, you might want to consider getting snow tires installed on your car, or at the very least having some chains on your existing tires.
You also need to check fluid levels and tire pressure more regularly in winter, as little issues can arise due to the extreme temperatures. Follow these and other usual winter car care tips to stay safe.
Alert and Aware
As we discussed above, icy roads and snowy days can make roads far more dangerous. You might not be able to see as clearly ahead of you through the windscreen, the roads might be more slippery than usual, and other drivers might be more on edge or distracted due to their busy winter schedules.
This is why it’s strongly recommended to remain alert, aware, and focused at all times.
Do not let yourself get distracted by your phone, your passengers, your in-car devices, and so on. Keep your hands on the wheel and your mind focused on the task at hand, and if you do feel your focus levels slipping, make sure to pull over safely and take a breather before carrying on.
Be Ready for Anything
Another useful car tip for winter is to prepare an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle at all times. This is especially important if you plan on making any long journeys, like a cross-country trip to see your folks for the holidays or a long ride for Christmas supplies.
You can never quite predict what will happen on the roads, especially in winter, and if your car suffers some kind of fault or failure or you get yourself stuck in snow and ice along the way, you’ll need some supplies to stay safe. An emergency kit can contain items like blankets, flashlights, flares, jumper cables, and so on.
It’s important to acknowledge that a lot of accidents happen in winter, and the conditions can often be quite dangerous for drivers to deal with.
Ideally, it’s wise to try and avoid driving as much as possible in snow and ice, but if you simply have to hit the roads, keep these useful tips in mind in order to minimize your risks of ending up in an accident that could ruin your festive season completely.