How to Become a Safer Winter Driver

winter drivingWinter weather conditions can make driving challenging. This is especially true in the Midwest, where constantly changing conditions can lead to black ice and other unseen issues. Auto accident rates are higher in the winter, when ice and snow can create some truly unpredictable conditions.

If the weather looks iffy, it’s best to avoid driving if possible. But if you absolutely must be on the road, here are some tips to help you become a safer winter driver.

Careful, Slick!

Avoid using your cruise control settings when driving on a slippery surface. This can cause you to hydroplane or travel at too high of a speed for the conditions, making it all too easy to lose control of your vehicle. You’ll also want to avoid using your parking brake in wet or snowy weather.

If your car’s front tires skid, release the accelerator and keep your hand where they are while the car slows down. If you try turning the steering wheel more or using the brake pedal, you risk losing control of the vehicle if you suddenly gain traction.

Slow and Steady

Whether you’re accelerating or slowing down, allow yourself plenty of time. Slowly applying the gas allows you to avoid skids and regain traction on slippery road surfaces. Avoid sudden braking, which can cause your automobile to fishtail in icy conditions. Take your time when slowing down for a stoplight or stop sign. Better to drive slowly and stay safe than to be in a hurry and get into an auto accident. Allow yourself extra time when driving in uncertain weather.

Exercise caution when turning or traveling onto an entrance or exit ramp; everything takes longer when there is snow on the road. Allow more following distance between yourself and the vehicles around you on the road to provide more space in case you have to stop.

Make Sure You’re Visible

If your vehicle doesn’t have automatic running lights, make sure to turn your lights on when driving in dim or wintry conditions. Has it snowed recently? Check to make sure that your headlights and taillights are visible and free of snow and ice.

Can you see out of your front and rear windshield? Are your mirrors clean and visible? When preparing to drive in winter weather, make sure that your windows and mirrors are clean and free of obstructions. Consider replacing your windshield wipers for better visibility during rain, sleet, and snow.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.