Winter is coming and in many parts of the country, winter weather can be unpredictable. Suddenly every day tasks like driving become more difficult due to snow, ice, or freezing rain. According to the NHTSA, 17% of all vehicle crashes occur during winter conditions. It is important to take extra precautions when it comes to driving in these circumstances.
Before you hit the road, it is important to make sure that your car is ready to handle winter weather. We put together a checklist to help. You’ll find that checking your oil, inspecting your tires, and checking your battery all go a very long way in keeping you safe while driving in less than perfect weather.
But what should you do once you hit the road?
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
If you know the roads are bad, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Trips typically take longer when the roads are snowy or icy. Getting there safely is more important than getting there quickly.
When driving on snow or ice, it’s important to do everything slowly. Even with snow tires and all-wheel drive, streets can still be dangerous. Keep in mind that you may be able to control your car under harsh conditions, but not everyone on the road will be able to do so.
Defrost Your Windshield
Along with giving yourself extra time, remember to turn on your defroster once you start your car. This will help clear windows as well as help melt any snow or ice that has collected on them.
Remove Snow from Your Car
Many states now have laws that address clearing your vehicle from snow that has accumulated over time. Cleaning off the roof, windows, and hood of your car will ensure that both you and the cars surrounding you will have a safer ride.
Leave Space Between Cars
Leaving extra distance between you and the car ahead of you will give you extra time for a complete stop. Your vehicle may slip and slide on ice especially so staying back farther than you normally would is a good idea.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a risk that many people take even though it is against the law in a growing number of states. When driving in bad weather, it is best to just put your phone down and focus on the road in front of you. If you have trouble doing this, set your phone to “do not disturb” so you won’t be tempted to reply to a call or text message.
If you can, just stay home during inclement weather. It’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks whenever possible.
We hope that you have found the tips listed above helpful as the winter weather makes its way to your state. Before you get on the road this winter be sure to contact your local Acceptance agent to make sure that you’re properly protected in the case that you are involved in an accident!