Let’s face it. No matter how experienced you are behind the wheel, you can always expect some surprises on the road during the winter season. If you’re wise, you’ll educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of winter driving to avoid accidents and mishaps. Here are some simple safety precautions to take while driving to prevent winter car accidents.
Drive Slow and Easy
Snow and ice are well known for making roadways slippery and prone to sliding. This is because car tires do not always provide adequate traction on snowy roads. As a result, simple activities like braking and turning become more difficult. Driving slow allows you to maneuver the roads with precision and caution, and is one of the best strategies to avoid accidents in the winter. It also provides you with enough reaction time in the event of an unavoidable collision, allowing you to minimize damage to your vehicle and the danger of injury.
Clear Snow off Your Car
While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, you’d be amazed at how many individuals don’t take snow on their cars seriously. Snow accumulation can cause major accidents since it impairs visibility when driving. Hardened snow can also potentially fly off your vehicle and injure other drivers. Invest in a basic ice scraper or snow brush and make it a daily practice to clean snow from your car’s front and rear windshields before leaving the house. You can also start your car a little sooner to warm it up and make the snow removal process easier.
Be Attentive While Driving
According to the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, 75% of respondents admit to driving while distracted. Distracted driving is responsible for almost 9% of all fatal vehicle collisions in the United States. Do you see what we’re getting at?
Being alert while driving is sensible at any time of year, but it becomes much more important in the winter. There are already a lot of distractions on the road, such as icy pavements, snow heaps, and reduced visibility. Taking your eyes off the road for even a moment to answer a text or return a phone call might result in instant regret. So turn off your phone, leave multitasking for another time, and be your most attentive self on the road this winter.
Follow the Six-Second Rule
Have you heard of the six-second rule? It requires keeping a safe space of six seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. This easy approach ensures that there is enough space between two cars to prevent a collision or other mishaps if you skid or lose control of the vehicle. There will be instances when another vehicle is too close behind for comfort. If this happens, simply relax and switch lanes slowly to avoid an accident.
Here are a few additional tips provided by the AAA’s Roadway Safety Exchange that you may follow during the winter season:
- Check that your tires are adequately inflated to the recommended PSI
- Avoid using the cruise control feature while driving in inclement weather
- Keep additional gloves, stockings, and jackets in your car in case the heater fails. Numb arms and hands might cause loss of control, so make sure you’re properly warmed up before driving.
In the event of an accident, do not panic. Seek medical attention and speak with a reputable car accident lawyer about claiming compensation for your losses.