Whether at home or while traveling, winter driving can be extremely dangerous if you are unprepared. Even if you live in part of the country where freezing temperatures are rare, you should never underestimate Mother Nature or the power of unpredictability. At Daic Law, we want to make sure that your family is safe, no matter where you are driving. To help you stay prepared, we have compiled a list of safety tips for winter driving.
Safety Tips for Winter Driving
Depending on where you live, the winter season may include heavy rain, sleet, snow, or even blizzard conditions. No matter what the severity of the winter weather, you should always be prepared to keep you and your family safe on the roadway. Consider the following safety tips compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Get your vehicle serviced, including changing fluids and filters, checking hoses and tires, and having any defective parts replaced.
- Check the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle is under any recalls. If so, consider having it repaired before traveling.
- Know your vehicle inside and out. Make sure your vehicle is clean, that batteries are charged (especially electric vehicles), and that your operator’s manual is available.
- Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include items like a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, granola bars, reflective tape, emergency blankets, and a change of clothes.
On the Road
- Always wear your seatbelt and make sure that children are properly fastened in belts or child safety seats.
- Stay alert about your vehicle’s fuel level. If you get stuck in traffic or inclement weather, the last thing you need is to run out of fuel.
- Plan your trip so that you have plenty of time to stop and rest, eat, or handle business while you are not driving.
- Do not text, eat, read, or become otherwise distracted while driving. These distractions are especially dangerous if roadway or weather conditions are poor.
- Do not drive after consuming alcohol.
- Always obey posted speed limits, and adjust speed accordingly if roads are wet, icy, or snowy.
- If there are snow plows or ice machines on the road, be mindful of their slower speed, wider turns, and limited visibility.
- Never drive through snow clouds caused by plows, and avoid passing plows. You may not see hazards!
In an Emergency
If you find yourself stopped, stalled, or otherwise stuck along the roadway, remember the following:
- Stay with your vehicle.
- Use reflective tape or brightly colored clothing to make your vehicle more visible.
- Avoid running your vehicle’s engine for long periods of time in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you have cell service, call 911. If you are unsure of where you are, try to remember the last landmark or sign you saw before you got stranded.
No matter where you are driving, being prepared can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe. It is every driver’s responsibility to obey the law, drive safely, and be prepared for the unexpected.