Every year, more than 1.5 million car crashes result from poor driving conditions caused by the weather. Indeed, one of the most dangerous seasons to drive in is winter, and it is more or less common to see a crash or pileup down the road when it’s snowing out. During this season, it is advised to be more prepared and cautious while driving. Here are a couple of tips to avoid getting you and your family into an unfortunate road accident.
• Prepare your vehicle. Installing snow tires or winter tires are very much recommended. These tires are specially-designed for use in winter conditions such as snow and ice because they increase traction on snow and ice. Don’t forget to check your antifreeze levels and battery power as well, and make sure that your defroster and rear window defogger work. Keep a snow shovel, flares, flashlights and snow scraper inside your car as these may be of help to you in more extreme situations.
• Prepare yourself. If you are new to driving on snow or ice, practice the basics (spinning, braking and spin recovery) in a large, open area like a parking lot to get a feel of your vehicle given these driving conditions. Eventually, you will feel more comfortable driving through the actual roads. You should also learn how to drive defensively, as other drivers on the road may be novices in driving through icy roads. Keep your eyes on the road, watch out for drivers who drive too fast and keep a safe distance.
• Avoid recklessness. Don’t think that just by equipping yourself with the best snow tires you will avoid all possibility of accidents. Practice caution at all times. Never drive too fast, and when braking, do it slowly, tapping the brake pedals instead of quickly slamming them down. Rapid braking will most likely make you lose control of your vehicle. Should you start to spin, keep in mind NOT to steer in the opposite direction because you will almost certainly lose control as well.
It is recommended that you (or your children) sign up for winter driving lessons in your area for more information on driving under these weather conditions. If you are teaching your child instead, be a good role model and lead by example. The season may require you to hustle and bustle, but it is never a good idea to be impatient when driving down a snowy road as being in a hurry poses a fatal risk to you, your family, and your vehicle.
Be careful on the road this winter, and have a happy holidays!
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