Whether you live in a part of the U.S. where the winter season has temps plummeting well below 30 degrees and frequent snow or you have milder temperatures in the 50s, it’s important to rethink some of your driving habits once winter arrives.
Check out these winter driving tips to keep you safer on the road this holiday season and after the New Year.
Plan Ahead and Check The Weather
Winter driving often means a little extra time to prepare, particularly for longer trips. If you’re heading out of town for the holidays, it’s always a good idea to check the weather before you hit the road. While the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly, checking out the forecast can help you be better prepared (especially when it comes to deciding what to pack).
Meteorologists throughout several regions in the U.S. predict that the temperatures are supposed to be higher than average and in December and January the temps and chances of snow or ice are still likely in many areas. Checking the extended forecast can help you determine whether or not you need to leave early or wait a day before traveling.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Winter
Whether you’re planning on traveling for the holidays or just planning to drive your car to work and other daily activities, it’s important to get your car checked out to make sure all fluids are topped off, your tires have good tread, and your vehicle is winter-ready.
Don’t forget to store a winter emergency kit in your car, especially when traveling long distances. Before you travel, always make sure you check the weather forecast and try to avoid traveling during snow or ice storms.
Even in regions where winters are mild, cars benefit from being “winterized” as fluctuating temperatures can reduce the effectiveness on batteries and tires.
Use Common Sense and Caution Once You’re On The Road
Even if you consider yourself to be a well-seasoned winter driver, the driving conditions can be less than ideal. You should always use common sense and practice your defensive driving skills year round, but it’s even more important during the winter season.
Multiple car accidents are common in the winter because motorists follow too closely or icy road conditions make it difficult to stop in time. Other factors include inattentive, distracted, or fatigued drivers. Many winter accidents occur because motorists drive too fast, fail to yield, or run red lights.
One of the best ways to avoid any kind of accident, whether it’s a single car or multiple car pile up, is to stay attentive to the road and all other motorists around you. Keep a greater distance between yourself and other motorists than you normally might during other seasons and always remember that even though the roads look clear, you could hit a patch of ice.
Driving safely in the winter takes a little practice and patience, but if you stay focused on the road and drive with caution, you can reduce your risks of winter weather accidents.