Driving in the cold and snow can be a recipe for disaster if you are not careful or get distracted for a minute. Because wintertime driving requires extra vigilance, knowing some safety tips can improve your experience.
Preparing for wet, slick roads and reduced visibility can help you feel more confident. This confidence may improve your ability to respond to hazards with control and better protect yourself and your passengers.
Have emergency supplies
Keeping a first aid kit in your vehicle is something you should always do. However, you may want to add a few extras during the wintertime. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration suggests some helpful winter items to have including the following:
- Snow scraper
- Extra blankets
- Necessary medication
- Jumper cables
- Abrasive materials for traction
Because winter weather can approach with complete unpredictability, having these items may improve your comfort if you have to wait out a storm. Likewise, if you get stuck somewhere, you will probably feel grateful for the extra winter items you stored in your vehicle.
Take it slow
Inclement weather can cause hazards on the road including reduced visibility and loss of traction. Often, reducing your speed can help you to circumvent such hazards. If you anticipate traveling somewhere in poor weather, leave with plenty of time to drive slowly and carefully. Make sure you have defrosted your windows and that your tires have plenty of wear and tear left in them. Signal your moves plenty of time in advance of turning or switching lanes. Allow yourself plenty of time to brake.
If you do get into an accident, try your best to remain calm. Call for help as quickly as you can and if possible, get to a safe place away from traffic.