Essential Winter Road Safety Tips

The winter season is one of the most dangerous times to be out on the road. There is rain, snow and ice covering the ground, which increases your risk for vehicle accidents and the resulting injuries. To prevent an accident, the following tips will help you drive safely during the winter and be prepared for any type of unexpected event.

Get Your Vehicle Ready

Before you get on the road during the winter, make sure your vehicle is ready. Not only does your vehicle need to be in proper working condition, but you should have emergency supplies on hand just in case. Do an inspection of your vehicle to be sure you have enough air in your tires and that they have plenty of tread, your battery is charged and in good condition, and that your headlights are working. Be sure your breaks are in good shape and check the little things, such as your wiper blades and the windshield wiper fluid. Also take a moment to be sure all fluids are filled up.

For the emergency supplies, start by placing a fully-stocked first aid kit in your vehicle. If you do get in an accident, you will be glad you brought it along. You should also have essential supplies for various types of incidents, such as:

  • Extra clothing and boots
  • Snow chains
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • De-icing equipment
  • Flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Fully-charged mobile phone
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food

Tips for Driving on Snow and Ice

If you are driving in the winter and find yourself driving on snow and ice, be extra careful. In addition, follow these guidelines:

  • Drive slower – Always reduce your speed when you are driving on snow and ice. This reduces skidding and sliding of your vehicle.
  • Avoid harsh driving – When driving on snow and ice, you should never make sharp turns quickly, slam on your brakes, or peel out while accelerating. Any type of harsh movements with your vehicle could be disastrous on snow or ice. If you need to stop, start breaking ahead of time to reduce your speed gradually.
  • Don't tail-gate – Since you are at an increased risk for sliding or having brake issues on slippery surfaces, always leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you do slide or skid, it is more likely you will not hit the car in front of you.
  • Keep your vehicle ventilated – You may want all windows rolled up and the heater turned on full-blast, but this can actually make you drowsy and have a lower reaction time. Try to at least crack the windows when possible.

If you find yourself in an auto collision as a result of the snow or ice, don't panic. Try to get to a safe place on the side of the road and check for bodily injuries of you and anyone else in the car with you. Exit the vehicle and check drivers in the other cars to see if they need help. Call your insurance company and a personal injury attorney such as Tiefenthaler Law Office when you get home if you have physical injuries.