Staying safe on the road this winter

Whether you are planning on taking a mid-winter trip or whether you are opting to stay close to home for the next few months, it is important that you brush up on your wintertime road safety knowledge. If you have been driving for many years, brushing up on your knowledge may seem like a fairly pointless exercise. However, it is possible that taking a little time now may save your life later. After all, there is always something new to learn when it comes to road safety.

It is even important to brush up on the most obvious safety tips. The top three most obvious tips likely begin with the idea that one must clear all snow and ice from one’s vehicle before driving. This may seem like obvious advice to some, but others may benefit from the knowledge that you should not simply brush snow off your windshield. You need to remove all ice and snow from your roof, your lights, every window and both your hood and trunk. If you fail to do a complete job, the snow and ice may fly off at high speeds and temporarily blind the motorists behind you.

Second, remember to leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you in order to stop safely. This gap is going to be much more substantial in icy weather than it would be in sunny weather, as you must allow for the possibility that your vehicle will skid on slick surfaces. If you need additional inspiration to follow this advice, check out some of the many winter pileup videos posted on YouTube. These multiple car wrecks could have been prevented if all motorists had left enough room between themselves to stop properly.

Finally, please drive more slowly in icy, snowy or rainy conditions than you would otherwise. Almost every kind of winter weather-related accident can be prevented if motorists simply slow down.

Source: Danvers Patch, “Should You Pass Plows? Top Safe Winter Driving Tips,” Linda Bock, Dec. 28, 2015