Winter Driving Safety Comes Down To Proper Planning

Nov 17

Winter Driving can be hazardous on snowy roads

Winter Driving can be hazardous on snowy roads

The primary thing to remember is to slow down and allow more space. There is no such thing as too much space with winter driving, but there are several other tips that come in handy once the weather turns.

The American Auto Association recommends the following when it comes to winter driving:

Avoid driving when fatigued – Winter driving requires heightened awareness because of conditions. If you are tired you are not going to be able to react quickly if your vehicle starts to slip. Proper rest means you can also be more aware of other drivers if htey start to slide as well.

Make certain your tires are properly inflated – This helps insure that your tires maintain full contact with the roadway. Winter driving leads to slick conditions, so the more contact you have with the road, the better.

Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze up – This is a handy tip not only to avoid your gas line from freezing, but it also is a way to make sure you have plenty of fuel. Winter driving increases travel times, so making sure you have enough gas is critical.

Do not use cruise control during winter driving – Cruise control is great on a long drive in good weather, but in bad weather you lose critical reaction time to control your speed if your foot is not on the gas. By not using cruise control you will be more aware of conditions.

If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle – If your car is stuck in snow it at least can act as a shelter against the elements. While you are waiting for help your car can keep you out of the snow and wind.

Have a winter survival kit with you – This can include a number of things from gloves, blankets, and road flares to other important items like a cell phone. Winter driving is not only dangerous because it makes roads slick, it is dangerous because if you are stranded, frostbite and hypothermia can set in. Make sure you can stay warm in case you become stranded.

While winter driving is dangerous, there is nothing to fear if you prepare for it properly. All it takes is proper time and planning. Whether you are going across town or across the country in the winter, a winter survival kit is always a good idea. Also, remember to slow down and take your time. A little extra time can go a long way.

 

Travis Miller

Travis has been blogging professionally since 2006 and has been working as a traffic safety advocate since 2012.

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