Winter months can create difficult driving conditions, and, the months between October and February top the list for accidents, vehicle damage and injuries.
When the temperature dips and the snow rises, it is important for drivers to increase their attention to safety on the road. With proper preparation and some preventative driving measures, drivers can protect themselves and their vehicles during the winter months.
Check Your Visibility:
- Add de-icer to your windshield wiper fluid
- Make sure your windshield wipers are free of ice before heading out on the road
- Clean your headlights– front and rear
Slow Down and Stay Back:
- When there is snow or ice on the ground, drop your speed
- Leave extra distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you
- Do not use cruise control on icy roads
- Use caution on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads because these may be slippery from ice
If your rear wheels skid:
- Take your foot off the accelerator
- Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right
- If you have standard brakes, pump them gently
- If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes.
If your front wheels skid
- Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
- As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently
Prepare for a Snow Day:
- If your vehicle has rear wheel drive, put bags of sand or kitty litter in the trunk
- Pack a snow day kit just in case you get stuck. Important items to include are a blanket, gloves, hat, water, granola bars, flashlight and extra batteries, extra cell phone battery, flares, wooden matches in waterproof container, compass, scissors, rope and first aid kit.
- Prepare a toolbox for digging your car out with foldable shovel, 2×4 planks to put under tires, ice scraper and snow brush, reflective triangles, flares and exterior windshield cleaner