Staying Safe On Icy Roads: What You Need To Know
The colder months of the year bring with them challenges in all aspects of life, including for those on the road trying to get from A to B each day. Driving in the winter requires perhaps a little more care and attention than during the seasons where the weather isn’t as extreme, but it’s certainly something that can be done. In this article, we’re going to offer up a few tips to help you stay safe while behind the wheel this winter, so let’s start!
Keep A Safe Distance Behind Other Vehicles
When driving in winter weather, it is important to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles on the road. This will help you avoid accidents and stay safe on the road. In snowy or icy conditions, you should always allow at least four seconds of following distance between your car and the car in front of you. If the road is wet, you should allow even more space. Driving too close to other cars can cause accidents, so be sure to give yourself plenty of room to maneuver.
Of course, even despite your best efforts, accidents can occur whilst on the road, especially during winter times. You might be taking extra care, but other drivers may not share your attitude. Should you find yourself involved in an accident, it’s worth getting in touch with an attorney – if you have been hit by a truck, you may wish to contact a specialist like this St Louis semi truck accident attorney, who will have the expert knowledge to help you out with this specific case.
Plan Your Route In Advance And Take It Slow
Planning is key when it comes to staying safe on the roads during winter weather, especially if you are going to be driving for a long period of time. You can use a route planner online to get an idea of the route you could take, as well as any alternatives that are available, should your original route be affected by the weather. Make sure to always check the forecast before heading out, and be prepared for a variety of conditions and potentially hazardous spots.
When planning your route, you should also consider your timings. Snow and ice on the road can drastically slow things down and cause drivers to make unsafe decisions in their haste to reach their destination. You should make sure slowly and carefully in slippery conditions. Brake slowly and use caution when turning. If you start to skid, take your foot off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want the car to go. Use your headlights, even during the day, to make yourself more visible to other drivers.
Prepare your vehicle
Before heading out on any long journey, you should always give your car a check over to make sure that there isn’t anything immediately obvious that could turn into a problem once you’re on the road. However, this becomes even more important when it comes to helping make sure you stay safe on the roads this winter. As well as making sure you have enough gas to get to your destination, the most important thing when checking your car is making sure your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread on them. You should also make sure your washer fluid is full, as you’ll need it to clean off your windshield if it starts to snow, and that your antifreeze levels are adequate.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked and ready to go in case you find yourself stranded on the side of the road this winter. Your kit should include a flashlight, a blanket, some food and water, and any other essential items you might need in an emergency. If you’re traveling with children, make sure to pack extra diapers and wipes, as well as some games or toys to keep them occupied. And don’t forget to bring a phone charger so you can stay connected even if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Stay Alert At All Times
When driving in winter weather, it’s important that you are constantly aware of your surroundings and are taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Some things you can do to stay safe while driving in winter weather include:
– Keeping a close eye on the weather forecast and road conditions. Black ice is difficult to see but can cause cars to skid or spin out. If you encounter black ice, slow down and use caution.
– Being aware of your own limitations and not trying to drive if you’re not comfortable doing so, or if you are feeling tired along the route.
– Avoiding distractions while driving, such as using your phone, eating or drinking, or letting passengers distract you.
– Always wearing your seat belt and making sure all passengers are wearing their seat belts too.
Even the most experienced of drivers can find themselves challenged during the colder months of the year. Knowing how to drive in snow and ice can make a big difference in whether or not you end up stranded on the side of the road. Make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter weather, plan as much in advance as you can, and take the utmost of care when driving in adverse conditions.