With the threat of winter weather in the forecast, taking added precautions when driving is important.
It’s also critical to monitor the weather conditions near you before you hit the road. If conditions on local roads are too hazardous, it may be best to stay home. Furthermore, safety and a few checks to ensure that your vehicles are well maintained should be of top priority for all drivers.
To avoid potentially dangerous situations and keep you and your family safe, the Insurance Information Institute offers the following winter driving tips:
- Give yourself enough time to arrive at your destination. Trips can take longer during winter than other times of the year, especially if you encounter storm conditions or icy roads.
- Bring a cellphone so that those awaiting your arrival can get in touch with you, or you can notify them, if you are running late. But avoid the temptation of using the phone while driving, as it can be a dangerous distraction—pull over first.
- Drive slowly because accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow-covered roads.
- Leave more distance than usual between your vehicle and the one just ahead of you, giving yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop. Cars and motorcycles usually need at least 3 seconds to halt completely even when traveling on dry pavement.
- Be careful when driving over bridges, as well as roadways rarely exposed to sunlight as they are often icy when other areas are not.
- Avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
- Be sure to keep your gas tank full. Stormy weather or traffic delays may force you to change routes or turn back.
- Keep windshield and windows clear.
- Do not activate your cruise control when driving on a slippery surface.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and remember that good tread on your tires is essential to safe winter driving.
For these and more tips, visit http://www.iii.org/article/winter-driving.