If you live in a state with winter conditions and snow, you are familiar with driving in cold weather. While cold weather and snow can be beautiful and bring joy, it can also make roads icy and difficult to drive on.
Before hitting the road, there are some things to keep in mind.
What Should I Know About Driving In Cold Weather?
It is important to remember that driving in cold weather can be dangerous, frustrating, and challenging. Cold weather requires specific planning, preparing, and driving etiquette.
Understand and consider these tips for cold weather driving. Oftentimes, you may increase the chances of getting into a car accident and becoming injured. Dealing with a car accident attorney can be beneficial if you suffer injuries but can also become cumbersome at times.
Stock Your Vehicle with Essentials
Before even leaving home, be sure to stock your car with essential items. Essential items can include:
- Snow shovel/ice scraper,
- Jumper cables,
- Warning devices,
- Cell phone charger, and
- First aid kit.
Keeping items like these in your car at all times is crucial in case of an emergency. If you find yourself stuck or stranded, keeping essentials in your vehicle will help ensure you are safe and warm and have a way to get assistance.
Driving slowly can help avoid accidents on an icy road. Tires have less traction on snowy or icy roads, making it easier for a vehicle to lose control and cause an accident. Black ice can form, making roads significantly slippery and dangerous. Driving slowly is in everyone’s best interest.
Increase Following Distance
Roads can be excessively icy, and drivers can often lose control of their vehicles. If you follow the car in front of you too close and that car loses control, you are less likely to have the time and space to stop successfully, and you may cause a rear-end collision. Increasing distance between vehicles often helps avoid accidents and multi-car pile-ups.
Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
Driving in severe, icy conditions can be scary and dangerous. Staying alert is essential, as accidents can happen rather quickly. Also be sure to avoid distractions, like texting or talking on the phone, giving the road your full and undivided attention.
Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly
Accelerating too quickly on a snowy road can cause you to lose traction, making it easier for you to lose control of your vehicle. It’s also important to remember it takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so give yourself enough time to slow down and decelerate. Keeping distance between vehicles is also crucial for this reason, giving you enough time and space to successfully slow down and stop.
Plan Your Route and Give Yourself Enough Time
Driving in cold weather calls for route planning. Check the weather forecast, traffic, and road conditions along the route you plan to take. If the route you always take is not ideal, reroute. Always give yourself plenty of time, as you may encounter unexpected conditions, like extra icy roads or crashes.
Stay Home, If Possible
As always, if at all possible, stay home. Driving in cold weather can present many risks and troubles. If you are not required to leave your home and drive in icy conditions, it is best to stay home and stay safe.