Driving in the winter can be a scary thing. The roads are slippery and unpredictable, and you never know when you might encounter black ice or other dangerous driving conditions. But there are some easy steps that you can take to make sure you stay safe on the road. Here’s my list of tips for driving safely in the winter.
Clean off all of the snow from your car, including the roof
Snow can be beautiful, but it’s also hazardous. Because of this, it is important to clean off all of the snow from your car as soon as possible after a snowfall. However, not all cars are built the same, and some have a trickier time clearing off than others.
The most important part of cleaning off your car is making sure that you get rid of any accumulated snow on the roof. This is especially important because ice can form on top of the car when temperatures are below freezing (32 F). If this happens and you drive with an icy roof, it could cause major damage for both yourself and other drivers around you. Not to mention it could be deadly if someone else hits your vehicle!
The next step for driving safely in the winter is removing snow from your vehicle. That involves removing any large chunks left behind by using a scraper or broom. Once these chunks have been removed, brush away any remaining piles with a stiff brush or squeegee before going over them again with paper towels or cloth rags.
Adjust your driving speed to the road conditions
The first thing to remember when driving in winter is that there are two ways you can drive badly: too fast or too slow for the conditions.
The latter is obvious enough. If it’s icy out and you’re going 35 mph on the street with a 40 MPH speed limit, don’t drive like an old lady. But suppose you’re doing 45 or 50 mph on a highway with clear roads. In that case, there’s no reason to be pushing it so hard. If other drivers see someone exceeding the speed limit this far into winter, they may start thinking that person is intentionally putting themselves at risk.
Use your seat belt and don’t follow other cars too closely
Buckle up! Not only is it the law in most places, but also it’s more likely to save your life if you have an accident. In fact, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 50% for adults and 71% for kids ages 8-17 in frontal crashes.
Don’t follow other cars too closely! If someone else pulls into the lane next to yours on a snowy road, try not to tailgate them—it will make it harder for them to keep their car under control if they have to swerve suddenly or slow down abruptly.
Don’t drive distracted! You should never read or text while driving; doing so increases your risk of crashing by 23 times compared with when no distraction exists. And don’t drink and drive either—you could get arrested if caught drunk behind the wheel.
Move over when you see flashing lights on the side of the road
You might be wondering, why should I move over if there’s no one behind me? Well, aside from being a courteous and safe driver, it could save your life. If you see flashing lights on the side of the road, this means that there’s an emergency vehicle coming through. Not just any old car! It could be a police officer or firefighter responding to an emergency call. They need as much space as possible for their safety, so it’s important to give them plenty of room so they can get through safely.
Don’t try to pass plows or emergency vehicles
You’ve seen them on the road, those plows, and emergency vehicles, but did you know that they actually have the right of way? You may think that you can pass them safely. But what if there’s an emergency up ahead and they’re trying to get there as quickly as possible? By passing them, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting into an accident. Plus, it causes traffic backups behind them! So just drive right on by and let those guys get their work done.
Try not to drive at night
Driving safely in the winter also includes – do not drive during the night. Driving at night is like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun. The odds are stacked against you. In fact, it’s estimated that driving at night increases your risk of an accident by 50%. You’re more likely to get into an accident while driving in rain and snow than you are while driving in the daylight hours. And it’s not just because there’s less visibility. The temperature drops when the sun goes down, which causes your car’s tires to lose traction on icy roads and makes skidding more likely.
That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed and will wisely use these tips for driving safely in the winter. Enjoy the upcoming winter season, and stay safe while transporting yourself and others, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!