Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, especially with snow and ice.  But it can also be safe with planning and extra caution. Be prepared!

Winter Survival Kit

It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle including an ice scraper/snowbrush, sand or kitty litter to use as a traction aid, booster cables, road flares, flashlight, extra clothing and snow boots, warm blanket, and warm gloves or mittens.

Before you leave home

Find out about the road conditions.  You can go online here to see current road conditions, closing and accidents on your route.  Clear any snow or ice on your vehicle’s windows, mirrors, headlights and brake lights.  Inspect your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. Very cold weather may cause your tires to be dangerously underinflated. Make sure there is sufficient windshield wiper fluid and that it is rated for freezing temperatures. To prevent damage to your wiper blades, be sure the wipers are free of ice and snow and turned off before starting your engine.  Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze up.

Driving in Hazardous Conditions

While driving in icy or snowy conditions,  remember it takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces. The normal dry pavement following distance of 3-4 seconds should be increased to 8-10 seconds.  Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly. Remember that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the travel lanes of a roadway.  Watch out for black ice, areas of the roadway that appear black and shiny and where your vehicle can suddenly loose traction.  Slow down in these areas and keep your foot off  the brake.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in a wreck caused by another driver, give the lawyers at Schuerman Law a call and find out what insurance coverage is available to you and your family.  Schedule your free consultation today at 800-274-0045.

Photo Credit: chris runoff cc

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