Winter driving can be a daunting task, especially when the roads are covered in snow or ice. Ensuring your safety and that of others on the road is crucial. Here are some effective tactics that drivers can use to avoid accidents during hazardous weather conditions.
Vehicle Maintenance: The First Step to Safety
Before embarking on any journey, ensure your vehicle is in top-notch condition. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), adhering to the following tips can help prepare your vehicle for winter:
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the fuel line freeze-up.
- Regularly check your tires for air pressure and tread depth.
- Make sure your wipers work and replace wiper blades if necessary.
- Keep your windshield and windows clear at all times.
Types of Tires: Your Winter Road Companions
Using winter tires instead of all-season tires can increase traction and reduce braking distance on snowy or icy roads. Winter tires are designed with a special rubber compound that stays flexible in cold weather and treads that grip the road better than all-season tires.
Winter Driving Techniques: Navigating the Snowy Roads
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the three P’s of Safe Winter Driving: Prepare for the trip, Protect yourself, and Prevent crashes. Some of their top tips include:
- Drive slowly and accelerate/decelerate gently. This will help you maintain control of your vehicle.
- Increase your following distance to five to six seconds to give yourself time to react if the car ahead of you loses control.
- Avoid stopping on a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road.
Staying Alert: The Key to Safe Long Journeys
During long journeys, it’s essential to stay focused and alert. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it’s an absolute emergency as limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.
Winter Driving Crash Statistics
According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement annually. By following these tips, we can all work together to reduce these numbers and make winter driving safer.
Ensure your safety during winter and remember, if feasible, delay your travel until roads are plowed, treated, and cleared. When uncertain, keep in mind: “Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.” At Kaiman & Crahan, we are here to guide you through any legal complexities arising from a car accident.