Getting from point A to point B during the winter is a process. You’ve got to give your car a few minutes to warm up, scrape the ice from the windshield, and remove the snow from the windows. Then, you have to watch out for snow that hasn’t been plowed yet, black ice, slippery areas, and more when you’re actually driving. These conditions can be a huge pain, and they can result in car damage and personal injury to yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians. It’s important to stay safe while driving this winter! In order to do so, please take note of these tips for driving in snowy or icy conditions.
Everyday Driving in the Winter
- Don’t add to the poor conditions. There are some things that you can’t control – such as snow or black ice. However, you can control your level of alertness. Don’t drive if you feel tired, aren’t wearing prescription contacts/glasses, or if you have been drinking or taking medication that makes you drowsy.
- Take care of your car. Again, don’t contribute to poor conditions. Make sure there is enough air in your tires, you get an oil change at the proper time, your brakes are working properly, and you keep up with the general maintenance of your car. The last thing you need is to drive in icy conditions with brakes that need to be replaced!
- Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car to avoid your gas line freezing.
- Avoid using cruise control on slippery surfaces.
- Always wear your seatbelt and encourage passengers in your car to do the same.
Driving in the Snow
- Drive slowly. If you’re worried about being late, leave early, don’t speed. Driving in the snow requires patience! Give yourself time to accelerate, stop, and turn in order to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
- Put a greater distance between yourself and the vehicles around you. In normal driving conditions, you should remain about three seconds behind the car in front of you. Increase this buffer to about eight seconds when driving in snowy conditions.
- Try not to stop when you’re going uphill. Work up some speed on a flat road before going up a hill so that you don’t stall and slide.
- Don’t accelerate too quickly, especially on a hill. This can cause your wheels to start spinning and you can lose control of your vehicle.
Driving Long Distances
- Be aware of weather reports for conditions in the area you are going.
- Don’t go out of town if your car needs even minor repairs.
- If you get into an accident or become snowbound, don’t wander to try to find help, stay with your vehicle.
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and you have your AAA card on you. (If you don’t have AAA or a similar service, consider investing in it).
- Check your exhaust pipe for mud, ice, or snow before you leave.
- Be prepared to change your plans if the weather gets too bad. Need to stay a few extra days before it is safe for you to drive home? Or do you have to reschedule your trip? Know when it is simply not safe to drive and make alternative plans.
These are some basic tips for staying safe in icy or snowy conditions. If you’ve been in an accident that was at least partially caused by poor conditions, you should contact a Connecticut lawyer.