Driving at anytime of the year can be dangerous. However, when the weather turns cold you need to take extra precautions to ensure your safety.
Typically, the months between November and March bring the best chance for winter weather. Of course, this is based largely on the part of the country in which you live.
Note: thanks to the holidays, these months are also very common among travelers. If you plan on driving to your destination, it is important to plan in advance for the possibility of winter weather.
So, what are you going to do to stay safe while driving in potentially dangerous conditions? Even if snow and ice are in the forecast, there are steps you can take to better your chance of arriving at your final destination unharmed.
1. Know where you are going and which route is best during nasty winter weather. Generally speaking, you should stick with primary roads that receive the most attention from local road crews. These roadways may not be 100 percent clear but at least you know that they are being worked on. Additionally, if something does go wrong well-traveled roads are easier for the authorities to access.
2. Just slow down. Are you in a hurry to get to work? Are you rushing to the grocery store before it closes? You may be in a rush, but you cannot get ahead of yourself when driving in winter weather. The faster you go the better chance there is that you will be involved in an accident.
3. Keep control of your vehicle through smooth operation of the brakes and gas. In short, you don’t want to be forced into sudden stops or make fast accelerations. This can lead to loss of control.
4. Make sure your tires are in good condition before taking to the road. Unfortunately, this is something that many people overlook. If your tires are not ready for the winter season you need to consider making a change in the near future.
Tip: some people install snow tires for the winter. This may be something that you want to consider, especially if you already have the tires.
5. Make sure you have a winter travel safety kit with you at all times. Every year, hundreds of people get stuck in their vehicle when the weather turns bad. With the right supplies and equipment, your chance of survival is much better.
Your kit should include the following (at the very least): cell phone, ice scraper, blankets, towrope, flashlight, a candle, gloves, matches, portable radio, and a lock-deicing product.
As you can see, some of these tips have nothing to do with your actual performance and decisions as a driver. Instead, it is every bit as important that you are prepared for anything that could come your way.
Just because the weather has turned cold and snowy does not mean you should stay inside your house until spring. Be sure to remember the five tips above when you get behind the wheel and embark on your journey, regardless of the destination.
Here are a few more tips to get you on the road safely: