Wintertime Driving Tips

Car tires on winter road covered with snow.With winter weather in full swing across many regions of the country, many motorists may encounter hazardous driving conditions. Snow, ice, rain, and sleet present drivers with circumstances requiring a little special care and skill. Now is a great time to brush up on these winter safe driving tips:

  • Reduce your speed in inclement weather. Most people slow down in a snowstorm or rainstorm. Visibility will be limited and there will be less traction on slippery roads. Slowing down may help you maintain control of your vehicle, which will be especially important if you encounter black ice. Slowing down may also prevent spin outs or going into a slide. It will also hopefully give you more time to react if the motorist in front of you slams on their brakes or loses control.
  • Increase your following distance. Normal conditions call for a 3- or 4-second following distance. Increase this time in snow or rain so that there is a greater cushion between you and the vehicles ahead. It will take longer to slow down on icy roads, so you want to provide yourself with more time to react if there is trouble with the vehicle in front of you.
  • Practice patience. A little patience can go a long way! Especially when it comes to driving in winter weather. Motorists will be behaving differently and unexpectedly; a level head can prevent you from feeling rushed, which in turn may help you with decision-making and alertness to the task at hand.
  • Prepare your vehicle before winter storms. Old or worn wiper blades should be replaced. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and a full reservoir of window washer fluid. Check the headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and cabin lights for proper functionality. Tires should have enough tread – your mechanic can determine if it’s time for new tires. Keeping your vehicle in good shape will help you mitigate the hazards of winter driving.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list and you can find many more tips at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other authoritative websites. In general, inclement winter weather requires extra caution behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please search our directory for an experienced accident attorney in your area.