Safe Driving in the Winter

Winter might be the most wonderful time of the year, but it doesn’t come without its vices. And there are a lot of vices.  From ice to slush to being snowed in, winter is a very unpredictable time for everyone behind the wheel. The last thing you want to happen is to get into an accident caused by sliding around on some ice or snow while on your way somewhere. Here are some useful tips to help you make it through winter safely.

Slow Down

This might be the biggest thing to do during the winter. If you’re on a road that isn’t properly salted or cleared, slow down. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late to a meeting or an appointment. It’s best to show up late than to possibly not show up at all. You are also more likely to avoid accidents that require emergency stopping by already going a slower speed. Also, be sure to watch your speed when coming down poorly plowed or salted hills. Your car may go down at an uncontrollable speed thanks to slipping and who knows what awaits you at the bottom of the hill.

Be Sure that your Car is Equipped for the Winter

Make sure that your car is winter ready. Will your tires work well with the snow? Do you have some emergency supplies in the car in case of an emergency? Are your brakes sufficiently functional? If you have thought twice about any of these things, check your car and make sure. If it isn’t ready, you’ve got some prep work to do before the first wintry storm hits. Look at the treading on your tires. If your tire treading is worn out, it might be time to invest in some new tires. If you get snowed into your car, what are you going to do? If you don’t have anything to warm yourself up with in the car, you risk getting hypothermia by the time help arrives. Be sure that there are blankets and other emergency supplies in your car, such as an ice scraper, flares, water, matches, and a cell phone charger. Having snacks with a long shelf life in the car may also be helpful. Finally, checking your brakes, as well as the rest of your car, is a great way to make sure you’re set for the season. Having a professional inspect your car might be wise if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Think Smart

Question what you’re doing before you do it during this time of the year. If you’re tired and about to drive, question whether or not you should actually be driving now. Perhaps another person could drive you. Or maybe you should get some coffee in your system as a pick-me-up so you don’t risk falling asleep while driving. If where you’re driving to isn’t a necessity, do you really need to go drive now? Stay at home and wait for the snow to clear up before driving. There’s no need to risk getting into an accident when driving to a store or a neighbor’s house. A drive in a snowstorm is not worth the potential damage you can cause to your car and anything you hit.

Are you trying to warm up your car so it’s nice and comfy when you finally get to driving? Is the car you’re warming up sitting in your garage? If you said yes to that second part, do not turn on your car. You risk dying from carbon monoxide poisoning by running an engine in an enclosed space. Warming up your car should be something you do when your car is outside. If it’s inside, just warm up the car while driving. It might be cold for the first couple minutes, but you’re better off dealing with the cold than the carbon monoxide.

There are plenty of things you can do to make sure that your winter is a fun and safe one, but the most important thing to do is to be smart. Winter can be a treacherous time of year for drivers. It is the responsibility of the driver to make sure that they are able drive when they need to. Don’t drive around unnecessarily and always be equipped in case of emergencies. Follow these tips to ensure a safe winter. This time of year is also a great time to check your policies in case anything unfortunate happens. Feel free to call Brooks & Stafford and get a quote today.

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