Winter Weather Safety Tips
Connecticut is known for having some pretty bad storms and weather during the winter. It is not uncommon for car accidents to occur because of snow and slippery conditions to happen. During the long, cold, winter months you also have to contend with black ice and other hazardous conditions. Driving in winter weather can be very difficult and dangerous, and with winter right around the corner, here are some winter weather safety tips.
- Have a Winter Survival Kit
You should always have a survival kit in your trunk. This kit should have everything that you would need to survive until help comes. You should have booster cables, a small shovel, snow brush, wiper fluid, gloves, food, water, flashlight, blanket, candles, lighter, and a safety vest.
- Keep an Eye on the Weather and the Road Conditions
When you are traveling during the winter, you should have your route planned before leaving the house. Once you have your route planned, you should check the road conditions and the weather. This will give you a better idea of what you are facing, and if you should change your route.
- Winter Tires
While you might think that winter tires are a waste of money, not having winter tires leads to car accidents in snow and on ice. Winter tires are designed to grip the snow and ice, so you have better handling, braking, and traction. Depending on the conditions, winter tires can stop up to 25 percent shorter distance than all season tires. After 0 F, all season tires will lose almost their entire grip.
- Slow Down and Plan for Extra Traveling Time
This should be obvious, but most people do not slow down unless it is white out conditions. You should drive the speed that the road conditions allow for, not the speed limit. If you have to, put on your 4-ways and drive the speed that you are comfortable with. You also should not rely on the time that the GPS estimates. This time is calculated as if you were driving the speed limit with perfect weather.
All wheel drive and four wheel drive does not mean you can continue to drive as normal. You still need to drive cautiously and reduce your speed. You still need more space to stop your vehicle. It’s almost inevitable that someone thinks their vehicle is invincible because it has all wheel drive.
- Fill the Gas Tank
Having a full gas tank lowers the amount of moisture that can get into the fuel system. Another benefit is that it adds weight to your vehicle. The more weight you have, the easier that it is too slow down with and without the use of your brakes.
- Know How to Recover From a Skid in Your Vehicle
Most people would never think that they would need this skill, but you should know how to do this. There are many handy guides online that can show you how to do this, but you need to stay calm. If you have ABS, do not pump the brakes because you can make the skid worse. If you do start to spin turn into the spin to regain control of the car.
Avoiding car accidents in snow and from other winter weather is a challenge. While you can take care of your own driving and vehicle, you cannot control other people. If you can it’s best to just stay put during winter weather. If you can’t stay home then hopefully, these tips will keep you safe this winter.