It would be nice to skip winter driving altogether, especially when you consider how dangerous it can be. Sadly, most people have duties to attend to, which means facing the icy roads. The days are longer, darker and visibility is usually worse. It can become extra dangerous for unseen pedestrians, kids, and animals crossing the road. This can become deadly for them and the drivers. The following are five tips that may help you and them stay safe out there.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Before you start driving make sure to look for cats under your car and behind the wheels as they like to curl up under the warm car for shelter. You need to make sure that you drive slowly when you get behind the wheel. Driving a little slower gives you more grip on icy roads, and it makes it easier for your brakes to stop, especially if you have to stop abruptly. No one is saying for you to driveway under the speed limit but perhaps half the speed limit allowed though that can change depending on where you are driving. Remember, the speed limit in most states can change with the weather. You need to be able to have enough reaction time to icy conditions, and to the surroundings.
Grip is vital when you are battling icy roads, meaning that your tires need to be ready. For one, you should make sure your tires are winter tires or at least all-terrain tires. You should also make sure they have enough thread to keep you as steady as possible while driving. Depending on where you live you may opt for snow tires. It’s always a good idea to make sure air pressure is where it should be and that your tires get scheduled rotation. This will keep your car safe, but also let you have control of your car should you see a dog run across the street.
It goes without saying that you need to make sure your brakes are impeccable. You never know when you might need to stop when you are driving, and icy roads make stopping a little harder. Having good brakes and tires goes a long way towards keeping you safe on the road, so do not skip this step. This is especially true in areas with wildlife like deer. Not only can you kill them, but impact may kill you too.
Another thing you may want to do is make sure you always keep a safe distance from other drivers. Creating enough distance between you and other drivers gives you and other drivers a chance to stop without worrying about hitting another car. It may take some time to get used to driving further than the general “one car” distance, but stick with it. We share the road so we want to make sure people know what we are doing and that we can know what other cars are about to do.
Following distance helps avoid bigger collations. I’d also suggest making sure your headlights are on and you use your blinkers when changing lanes. I know this sounds simple, but these basics are often disregarded leading accidents. This will also decrease a pileup should someone hit an animal seeking shelter. Not having enough following distance can lead to several cars being injured.
Cracks and other imperfections on your windshield compromises your visibility. How can you see if the road is clear if you don’t have a clear windshield? Cracks and other imperfections can cause things like sun glare. One thing you have to consider is windshield replacement if visibility is impaired or there is a safety risk once it starts to grow. Winter weather is already going to compromise your visibility, so do not add to it by not replacing or repairing your windshield. It’s always a good idea to get rock chip repairs before it turns into a replacement. If you hit a bird you will want to get this taken care of right away.
These few tips can help ensure that you and your family are a little safer when you are on the road this winter. Be sure to consider taking defensive driving classes, which can help keep you and our fuzzy friends safe this winter.