Winter is coming. You may be excited to sharpen up that sled, those skis, or those skates to get back on the snow. It’s a lot of fun to do these activities, but getting there is the stressful part. Driving in winter can be very dangerous as compared to other times of the year as snow and ice can severely affect the control of our cars. To get ready to drive in winter conditions this year, learn about the best ways to stay safe on the roads.
Check Road and Weather Conditions Before Leaving
Turn on your weather app to see what the forecast has in store for you. Also, get tips for your destination on Google Maps. It will tell you how the traffic is going and how long it will take you to get there. This will also help you plan your route forward time. If you see a road that is backed up with traffic or if there has been an accident, check for alternative routes that may be safer to drive.
Leave a Lot of Room in Front of Your Car
You should never tailgate regardless of the weather, but you should never tailgate when it’s snowing. Braking on snow and ice will take longer to stop and can cause you to spin out of control if you’re going too fast. When driving a car in traffic, leave about four seconds of distance between you and the car in front of you. This will keep you and your other drivers safe if you need to brake quickly.
Everyone on the road has to be somewhere, but they also want to get there safely. If someone is driving slower than the speed of the traffic and you are behind him, don’t lose your temper and move to the other lane. If you hit an ice floe, you can spin out of control, causing even more delays. Take your time when trying to pass someone on the highway. Check your blind spot and merge safely into the next lane. Do not speed up either to pass the other driver, gradually increase the speed until you are at a safe speed to pass and safely back into that lane.
Being patient also means leaving extra early to reach your destination on time. Chances are you’ll encounter some delays along the way, so leave early to give yourself extra time when they start to slow down.
Have an Emergency Plan
In worst-case scenarios, you could find yourself stranded or trapped in the snow. Do not panic, stay in your vehicle and call for help from roadside assistance, or if you are in danger, call 911.
Be safe on the roads this winter, respect your fellow drivers, and take your time. Keep your eyes on the road and be prepared for long journeys.