Tips for Safe Winter Driving
For many people, hopping in the car and heading off to the homes of friends and family is a big part of winter. Statistics by AAA estimates that almost 39 million people headed off to locations farther than 50 miles from home in their vehicles during the week of Thanksgiving, and Christmas always guarantees there are even more people on the road. Given winter weather conditions have already blasted the USA in many areas, it’s always good to brush up on tips for safe winter driving before you head out the door for a trip.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would like to remind motorists that bad weather accounts for a high number of traffic related fatalities due to traveling by road during the winter. Stay safe by always ensuring you have your seat belts buckled, children are in appropriate child restraints, and that anyone under the age of 13 is riding in the back of the vehicle.
As well, the NHTSA has compiled a list of safety tips for winter travel that will keep you prepared situations you may face while driving.
Plan out your trip
Always check the weather, road, and traffic conditions before you set out. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination so you’re not tempted to speed.
Take your vehicle in for service
Have your mechanic check for fluid levels, leaks, and ensure your battery has a sufficient charge. Replace worn windshield wipers and ensure tires have adequate pressure.
Familiarize yourself with your vehicle
Before heading out, you should practice driving your vehicle in poor road conditions such as ice and snow. Clean any snow, ice, or debris from your windows and lights, and always drive slowly and give yourself enough time to stop.
Recover from a skid
In the event of adverse driving conditions, you may find yourself in a skid due to snow and ice. Being in a skid can send a motorist into a panic. To recover from skids ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to go. Keep your foot off the brakes and gas until you have control of your vehicle again.