Looking out the window and noticing snow falling from the sky will give even the most experienced driver pause. Driving during the winter can be a significant challenge. Multiple inches of snow covering long sheets of ice on the road can be very dangerous. Thousands of people suffer injuries or lose their lives due to the harsh weather conditions present during the winter.
It is unreasonable to avoid driving for the entire winter season. You have places to go and things to get done. A more practical method involves altering a few of your basic habits. Combine your safe driving habits with a more cautious approach to enjoy a secure winter driving experience.
It is imperative that you recognize the difference between driving during the winter and driving during other months in the year. Snow piling up on the roads can make it much more difficult for your vehicle to gain traction. Moreover, ice building up underneath the snow can make the road slippery and could potentially result in you losing control of your car.
This change in road condition requires you to also alter your approach to driving. Reducing your speed can make it much easier to control your vehicle during the winter. Driving at a slower rate allows your tires to grip the road better. It will also improve your ability to regain control of your car if you slip on ice. This more cautious approach gives you a better opportunity to avoid disaster.
Increase your following distance
It is never a good idea to follow closely behind the car in front of you. This becomes even more important during the winter when you have less time to make a decision. It is much more difficult to accelerate and slow down during the winter. Snow and ice make it harder to change your speed as you typically would during the summer months.
Increasing your following distance can help make up this difference by giving you more time to react to other vehicles. Depending on your speed, try to distance yourself by at least a couple of car lengths to ensure that you have enough time to react to any problems that occur in front of you.
Prepare for the worst
The unfortunate truth is that a lot can go wrong while you are driving during the winter. Not only do the hazardous conditions make it easier to get into an accident, but the weather can also be very hard on your vehicle. There are a variety of issues that you may experience, including trouble starting your car, visibility concerns or problems with your tires gripping the road.
Given everything that has the potential to go wrong, you must prepare for the worst. It is crucial to have your car looked at by an experienced mechanic to ensure that everything is operating correctly. Having a snow shovel or scraper handy can also help you brave the problematic conditions. It is also essential to dress appropriately because you could find yourself outside for an extended period if your vehicle malfunctions. Preparation is key when you are dealing with something as volatile as the winter weather.