5 Precautions To Take During Winter Driving
Driving can be scary under normal conditions, but when the snow gets involved, it turns downright precarious. It can be difficult to adapt your driving to bad weather, even if you have been driving for several years, because of the unpredictability of the roads. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe as we approach the winter season.
Get Your Car Checked Out
It’s important that your car is in top working condition, so you can navigate the roads safely. Before the first snowstorm, make sure you change your tires from regular tires to snow tires. If you have all-season tires, get the tread depth checked to make sure they are still in good condition. You should also have your brakes checked so you can make sure that you can stop as quickly as possible.
While you might be used to going a certain speed during good weather, you need to slow down during the winter. Snow can easily hide icy patches and it can easy to spin out of control, especially if you are speeding along. Even if you are confident in your abilities, there are other cars on the road with drivers that may not be as skilled at driving in the snow, and you don’t want to end up hitting them because you didn’t have time to stop.
Longer Following Distance
The normal recommended following distance is 2 to 3 seconds during dry conditions. When there is ice or snow on the road, it is important to increase that following distance. In fact, during extreme driving conditions, it is recommended that you have at least a 10-second gap. Not only will it take you longer to stop in this weather, you might not be able to. Even if your breaks are working perfectly, your car may skid on some ice and continue to travel, even after the wheels have stopped moving. The more distance you give yourself, the better chance you have of avoiding accidents.
Know Your Route
It is important to know where you are traveling to and how to get there so you can avoid any problems along the way. If your route takes you up or down a big hill, you will need to be prepared for that. It might be a good idea to have an alternate route in mind if you don’t have a lot of experience with driving on hills in the snow. If the roads you are traveling on don’t get plowed very often, make sure that you have the things you need in case your car gets stuck. There are many driving apps that will also update you on the weather, so consider giving one of them a try.
Give Semi-Trucks Extra Space
The same rules apply for winter driving around semi-trucks, but it is doubly important to drive carefully around them. They don’t stop quickly during normal conditions, so it is safe to assume they won’t stop in time during winter driving conditions. In fact, Page Law cites snowstorms, ice on the road, and reduced visibility as major causes of semi-truck accidents. Things like cutting them off that might seem a little dangerous during the summer can be fatal during bad driving conditions.
It’s important to be safe while you travel, and the best way to do that is to be prepared. Make sure you have what you need to drive safely. If you don’t feel comfortable going out, it might be a good idea to stay home. Almost nothing is as important as your safety.