Baby, it’s cold outside! Mother Nature is on a mission to wreak havoc here and there weather-wise. Snow, ice, snain, rain, can make driving a challenging task. When getting behind the wheel of a car, especially in winter, a driver’s rule of thumb should be executing smart safety measures in order to avoid collisions. Here are some driving tips that will help safeguard you this winter.
1) Know what the weather conditions are for driving before you venture out, so that you are not caught off guard and thereby, wind up ill-prepared.
2) Get your vehicle ready for winter’s road tricks, so that you don’t find yourself stranded in the cold! Check all vehicle fluid levels, tire condition and pressure, windshield wipers, battery. Make sure to keep emergency supplies in the car just in case, you find yourself sitting for hours–flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, ice scraper, snow brush, matches, safety flares, fully charged cell phone and charger, energy bars and bottled water.
3) Do not drive while intexticated! Text messaging while driving is illegal in all 50 states and makes a crash up to 23 times more likely according to the Federal Communications Commission. Most highway crashes happen because of speed, driver distraction or tailgating. The majority of winter crashes occur when motorists drive too fast for the road and weather conditions. When driving on snow or ice, you’ll need both hands on the wheel at the 3 and 9 clock positions. Most importantly, your eyes and undistracted attention should remain solely on the road ahead!
4) During hazardous road conditions like black ice, learn how to avoid skidding out of control by making smooth and gradual motions. Imagine this: There is a pitcher of milk (or beverage of your choice) on the hood of your car and you want to drive so that you don’t spill a drop. And there is an egg between your foot and the gas and brake pedals and you want to press down gently so that you don’t break it.
5) Consider making all of your runs during daylight hours. Three times as many fatalities occur during the night (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.) than during the day, according to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vision is oftentimes compromised when driving in winter, as dirt, salt or sand, builds up on the windshields and side windows that can make it hard to see, so consider taking advantage of the light of day when venturing out in your ride.