As the days grow colder, it is important for drivers to take steps to protect themselves. What steps can you take to decrease the risks of driving in snowy or icy weather?
1. Be prepared.
As the National Safety Council notes, the preparations that you take before winter driving can be key. Having your brakes , battery and windshield wipers checked at the beginning of the season allows you to enter the winter months with confidence that these necessary systems function properly. Filling your gas tank before traveling can help ensure that your car can keep you warm for some time if you become stuck. You may also want to keep a blanket, phone charger, a windshield scraper and other essentials in your vehicle.
2. Go slowly.
Slowly accelerating or decelerating when adjusting speed, gradually braking when coming to a stop and maintaining a lower speed can help you keep your vehicle under control if you hit a slippery stretch of road.
3. Give snowplows additional space.
As the Kelley Blue Book points out, those behind the wheel of a snowplow must manage a wide variety of tasks while clearing the roadway and have limited visibility. Driving defensively can help you avoid the plow itself and maintain safe driving conditions in your own vehicle.
4. Know how to operate your brakes in slippery situations.
Knowing your car’s brake system before heading out in winter weather can help you know how to respond to slippery roads. While the law requires all modern cars have antilock brake systems that do not need to be manually pumped on icy roads, drivers in older vehicles may need to pump their brakes. If you are uncertain about the type of brakes in your vehicle, checking your vehicle manual can offer clarity.
Unfortunately, not every driver takes appropriate steps to protect themselves and the other drivers on the road. When these negligent drivers cause a crash, those harmed by their reckless actions may want to explore their options for holding them responsible.