Tips for Driving Safely in the Winter
Winter is approaching. Poor driving conditions, inclement weather and other safety hazards will inevitably occur during the winter season. It’s essential to ensure you take the necessary precautions while driving. Doing so may protect you and those you share the roads with during the winter.
Perhaps the most necessary precaution to emphasize while you’re behind the wheel during the winter is defensive driving. Anticipating certain events, such as slippery roads and limited vision, can help protect you and other drivers on the road. Snow can create significant hazards and dangerous driving scenarios. Drive slowly and, if possible, leave considerable space between your vehicle and other vehicles to give yourself enough room to break.
Five Crucial Tips to Consider
- Crucial tips to consider before operating your vehicle during the winter might include some of the following:
- Monitor tire traction. Tire traction is vital for all vehicles, especially when it’s snowing. Assess your tire traction when there are no cars around you by carefully and softly applying the brakes for a second or two while driving in a straight line. If the traction control or anti-lock braking system engages while doing this, it is a sign that the roads are slick; stopping may be more difficult, and you may want to take extra precautions.
- Carry essential supplies. You’ll likely want the proper winter supplies if your car breaks down. Carrying food, water, blankets and vital winter tools such as a snow shovel, flashlight and a spare tire may alleviate the fear of being caught in the cold.
- Drive smoothly. When in doubt, driving slowly and smoothly is a crucial strategy. Black ice can be difficult to spot while driving and create significant vehicle issues. Drive smoothly with no sudden stops or turns to help ensure you’re safe while traversing the winter roads.
- Safely react to skids. Skids can create fear in drivers. If you feel your car beginning to drift, avoid repeatedly slamming the brakes, as that may be dangerous. For front-wheel skids, easing off the gas and focusing on where you want to go can be an effective technique. For back-wheel skids, turning your steering wheel in the same direction that the back of your car is drifting toward while letting up on the accelerator can help counteract the skid.
- Don’t rely entirely on all-wheel drive. Some drivers may place significant trust in all-wheel drive. While it can be effective, you should assume your car is vulnerable to the same risks as when it isn’t using all-wheel drive. Constantly monitor your traction to help ensure you’re driving safely.
Following these tips may reduce your chances of being involved in a vehicle accident during the winter.
Reach Out Today
If you are a vehicle owner near Nampa, Idaho, contact the Idaho Insurance Brokers agents at 208-465-6666 to learn about winter driving safety considerations.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.