4 Tips for Safe Driving in the Winter
While the winter season centers around celebrating the holidays with family and friends, it also provides the backdrop for an unpredictable mash-up of wintry weather conditions that can make getting to those celebrations treacherous for drivers. Regardless of the region of the U.S. you live in, you can count on facing some challenging driving conditions during winter. We’ve done the research, and here are 4 tips for safe driving in the winter whether you are facing brutal cold, snow, ice, fog or wind.
Don’t venture out
Listen closely for weather condition updates and adhere to the warnings. If there are warnings of icy conditions, visibility reduction due to snow or fog, stay home. Many deaths and serious injuries could be avoided if drivers heeded the warnings and chose not to drive.
Prepare your vehicle
Consider the following steps to keep your vehicle in great shape for driving in winter conditions:
- Check tire tread or have winter tires with deeper treads installed to provide greater traction. This includes ensuring tire pressure is measured according to manufacturer’s specifications.
- Make sure the gas tank is at least ½ full at all times to avoid freezing.
- Check wiper blades and replace if needed and use windshield wiper fluid rated for 30°or below.A warm blanket – to help prevent hypothermia if help is a while away.
- Test the battery as efficiency drops in colder temperatures.
Be personally prepared
Your health and wellbeing may depend on your readiness to drive in adverse conditions. We recommend that before the first snow falls, you have the following items packed in your vehicle for those “just-in-case” moments in life:
- A spare set of warm clothing – don’t forget to include extra gloves and a hat
- A warm blanket – to help prevent hypothermia if help is a while away
- An emergency first aid kit
- A collapsible shovel
- Jumper cables
- Tow chain
- Car phone charger
- Protein bars, granola bars
- Drinking water – one bottle passenger
- Road Flares
- Emergency flashlight
- Sand or kitty litter – for providing extra traction if your tires get stuck
Braking distances are greatly affected by ice, snow, fog, rain, sleet. and wind. Reduce speed, and leave longer distances behind the vehicle in front of you. Brakes may be impacted by poor road conditions and be less responsive so its important drivers feel comfortable there’s enough time to come to a stop suddenly and safely. The suggested stopping time is 8-10 additional seconds. If the vehicle begins to skid remember to turn into the direction of the skid to avoid spinout when the tires regain traction.
An extra tip: Never use high beam lights when driving in foggy conditions. The headlights cannot cut through the fog and in fact, bounce back to the driver, resulting in reduced visibility.
The approach of the winter driving season is the perfect time to take a look at your automobile insurance to make sure you have an appropriate amount of coverage to protect against accidents caused by wintry driving conditions. At NSure.com you can easily browse and consider auto coverage specifics, premiums and deductibles that will give you peace of mind, knowing that your vehicle is well protected. Make sure with NSure!