Winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions. Because you may be unable to stay home every time snow or ice falls, use these defensive driving tips. They help you and everyone else on the road arrive safely to your destination.
Prep Your Vehicle
Before you pull onto the road, spend a few minutes prepping your vehicle. Equip it with winter tires or tires with adequate tread. Then, clean the snow and ice off your vehicle, especially the windows, mirrors and lights. Finally, tell someone where you’re going, which route you expect to use and your anticipated arrival time.
Now that your vehicle is adequately prepped, drive carefully in snow.
- Use smooth motions as you brake, accelerator and change gears.
- Allow extra space between you and other vehicles.
- Wear sunglasses to reduce glare and improve visibility.
- Drive on fresh snow rather than in the packed and slippery trail left by other vehicles.
One of the most hazardous of all winter weather, ice poses a tremendous threat to your safety on the road. Stay home if possible during ice storms. Otherwise:
- Reduce your speed and leave at least 10 car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- During a skid, stay calm as you accelerate and break gently and smoothly. Steer into the skid, too. For example, steer right if your vehicle is skidding to the right.
- Be aware of black ice. It’s hard to spot but is just as dangerous as white ice or snow.
During dangerous hail storms, you must pay extra attention to the road and implement several safety measures.
- Drive into the storm so that the hail hits the reinforced windshield rather than the side windows and back glass that aren’t as strong.
- Stay away from ditches that can flood during hail storms.
- Pull over if the storm becomes too heavy, and wait until it stops.
Before you head out the door this winter, use defensive driving tips. Update your auto insurance, too. With these protective measures, you improve your chances of arriving safely at your destination.